Some people don’t know that our productions are made up of volunteers. From the actors you see on stage to the crew making magic happen in the behind the scenes, volunteers fuel the shows at Civic Theatre that you know and love. We always love to hear the surprise feedback from audiences when they spot their dentist, neighbor, teacher on stage. Mike and Nancy Dodge make up some of those beloved volunteers. Throughout their marriage, they have graced the Civic Theatre stage together and individually. They are a great example of members of this community stepping forward to bring magic to you year after year.
We caught up with them about what theatre means to both of them and the role it has played in their marriage.
What are you most excited about with being a part of this show?
N: First chance to perform in dialect, unless you count zombie grunting from my appearance in Night of the Living Dead.
M: Ditto the accent thing: a chance to get proper British pronunciation “right” – also, having another chance to be on stage with Nancy.
From rehearsals, what has been your favorite line or song so far?
N: I think “On the Street Where You Live” is one of the sweetest songs ever, but it’s “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” that tends to get stuck in my head.
M: The ensemble at the end of “Get Me to the Church” – when they get their harmonies, it’s gorgeous.
N: What do you mean, when? 🙂
When you aren’t on stage, what are you up to?
N: Trying to get back on stage. Actually, that’s true to a certain extent, as I do enjoy dance and voice lessons, but I am also learning how to play the saxophone and I practice yoga regularly.
M: Agreed: learning and prepping for other shows, plus reading and biking when weather permits.
What led you to audition for this particular show?
N: It just such a classic-what fun to be part of! And I was drawn to the chance to get some diction training. And the gorgeous costumes we get to wear!
M: Another chance to spend time with my spouse and the opportunity to be involved with one of the great musicals in American history.
What has your involvement in theatre been like?
N: It’s my happy place.
M: I think I could say it has become my second vocation or career. I’m spoiled and grateful that Grand Rapids offers so many opportunities; it’s also a place where I’m continually learning something new about myself and the craft of acting.
What is your favorite show/play of all time?
N: The Producers, which I loved long before I got to be in it. It was actually my very first Civic Theatre show.
M: I’ll be cliché and say whatever my next project is-I gave up on bucket lists years ago after having opportunities to perform that had never occurred to me.
What is something that people should know about the My Fair Lady cast?
N: We are such diverse group…young and less young, new to Civic and veterans, all different background and occupations, but yet we blend so well, vocally and as people.
M: Once again, Allyson [Paris, Director] has cast a group of talented AND compatible actors and crew-the lack of drama in most Civic shows with which I’ve been involved continues to amaze me.
What does theatre mean to you as a couple? What is your favorite part about being in productions together? Any challenges?
N: One of the many delights of doing shows together (besides the time with one another) is that we understand how all-encompassing a show can be, so there is no sense of being a “theater widow”. And, I just swell with pride watching Michael develop his character and contribute in so many ways to the success of the show.
M: Especially as I’ve gotten older, I treasure the moments in rehearsal and on stage with Nancy. It’s great fun to watch her get better at her craft every show, and I love how much she loves being involved. What better way to spend my evenings than with my wife?
This is the last week to catch Mike, Nancy, and the rest of the My Fair Lady cast in action! If you attend the performance on Wednesday or Thursday, get $5 off an adult ticket using the code LOVERLY. Buy your tickets today!