by Pollyanna Eyler, Dramaturg.
“It’s a bird, it’s a leaf, it’s a … wait, wait, it’s a flying squirrel?!?!”
Costumes play a big part in most plays, including The Glorious Story Emporium, where costumes fit hand in glove with the art of deception. Read how Paige Fletcher’s theatrical career also made a flying-squirrel-sized leap from “great singing voice” to “Les Mis” ingenue actress via the art of deception, then jumped in with both feet as a costumed “Squirrel.” Of course, as Lord Byron wrote in Don Juan, “After all, what is a lie? ‘Tis but The truth in masquerade.” (Canto XI Stanza 37, 1823)
- What’s your favorite story and why?
Choosing one favorite story is really rough for me,
I have SO MANY stories that I love.
But when it comes down to it, Star Wars … has certainly had a big impact on me. I’ve been watching Star Wars for as long as I could remember, so there wasn’t really a time I remember discovering it, it’s just always been a part of me. It’s a big part of my family’s culture- we quote and reference Star Wars to each other so often that we don’t even notice it. I think that’s probably why it’s my favorite, it has big personal connections for me.
The Glorious Story of Your Education:
- What school, if any, do you currently attend? Brigham Young University! In Provo.
- What year are you in school, or hoped for graduation year? I am about to start my senior year, but I am not graduating anytime soon. 😛
- What is/will be your degree(s)? Theatre Education, with a minor in Math Education. I love theatre, but I want to teach more than anything else. I’m just grateful there’s a degree that combines my two loves.
- Anything you’d like to share about BYU, especially the Theatre Media Arts program? I love being a part of the TMA program within BYU because I feel like it has really helped me understand other people and how they view the world, while also strengthening my own faith and continuing to support me as I figure out who I am. I don’t think I, as an active Mormon with the passion for the arts, would have been able to have the same experience within my chosen field in any other university and within that university in any other program.
- What do you hope to do with your degree? I want to teach theatre, hopefully in a high school. Beyond that, I would love to someday run a summer theatre camp for children and teenagers and help develop the next generation of artists.
For Your Fan Club (at last, stories of “suspicions” and “squirrels” we’ve all been waiting to see):
- What was your introduction to theatre? My very first play was a high school production of Les Misérables I was eight at the time, and my mom saw that a local high school needed young actors to play Young Cosette and Eponine. While I hadn’t been in any plays up to that point, my mom felt strongly that I needed to audition. I was a pretty strong-willed kid, and didn’t take parental suggestions easily, so she knew if she presented it as her idea I would immediately reject it. Instead, my mom carefully placed comments (“You know Paige, sometimes high schools need young actors for their shows,” and “Your singing sounds good Paige, I bet you would perform well onstage,”) and planted the information about the auditions where I would see it. One day I came to her with my original, self-created idea that I audition for the high school production of Les Mis. I auditioned, was cast as Young Cosette, and fell in love with theatre.
- What was your favorite role to play and why? When I was fifteen I played a squirrel in a community theatre production of A Year with Frog and Toad. It was a tiny role with only a few lines, but I showed up in various moments throughout the show doing silly, random things. It was so much fun and I really had the chance to create a character without any outside influence.
- What do you recommend for those auditioning for improvisation? Let go of fear. Really. In improv, you’re going to mess up. But that’s part of the charm of this kind of theatre- it’s what makes it fun to watch and keeps the audience and the cast hooked. Go into improv knowing that you’re going to make mistakes, and look silly, and just own it. You’ll recover from mess ups more smoothly and you’ll feel less anxiety about the experience as a whole.