Sister actors Sophie and Sarah Warren starring in TO’s A Christmas Story

December 21, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Sophie Warren and her younger sister Sarah are both in Theatre Orangeville’s production of A  Christmas Story, on now and running until December 23 at the Opera House.

Wanting to have more girls in the play, director David Nairn decided that Schwartz, Ralphie’s pal, would become a girl – a tomboy.

Said Sophie about being cast in that role, “I mostly play boys – I was a pirate in Peter Pan, the Pied Piper in Shrek. But we never had a big set like this where everything stays on the stage.”

“And there’s so much room back stage!” Sarah sang out. “So far, I have mostly played animals. I was Toto in the Wizard of Oz, a bear in Shrek and a wolf in Beauty and the Beast.” 

The two girls enjoy emphasizing their differences.

“I just normally wear dark clothes,” said Sophie, indicating her black pants and dark shirt. She slung a nod in Sarah’s direction, “She’s always wearing bright colours.”

The interruptions were free-flowing, like a well-practised comedy act. 

“Yeah, I love wearing colours,” Sarah bubbled. “All my clothes are really colourful.”

We were seated, with Programs Manager  Sharyn Ayliffe, in the theatre’s lobby, taking a short time to talk before they were to dash upstairs for an early school show. Their second performance of the day would be the Relaxed Performance in the evening.

Sarah was ecstatic to note, “And there’s only five people in the dressing rooms – we used to have to share with 20 before.”

We discussed their acting experience so far. Both have performed in five Orangeville Music Theatre productions. Sophie was in Secret Garden with Theatre Orangeville’s Young Company.

This is the first professional acting engagement for each. 

Sarah exclaimed, “I wasn’t so sure about having a crush on a boy,” in her role of  Esther Jane, who is always glad to see Ralphie and saves him a lot of trouble at the end of the play. “I’ve never had a crush on anybody,” she assured us. “The people are amazing. It’s also exciting to see the show come together. I want to be an actor, singer, teacher and writer – so I can write plays for me to be in.”

Sophie has the clarity of some youth about her life’s plans: “I hope to be doing this but, when I retire, I want to be a baker.”

Like most rising stars, their lives are busy with creative matters. Both study with Pam Demetriou, music teacher and director of the last few Musical Young Company productions.

Sarah informed us, “I am taking voice and flute lessons from Pam.”

Likewise, Sophie is studying, “vocal with Pam and clarinet. It was good that she was the director for Young Company. Then, there was someone that I knew. She’s my inspiration. This is the greatest time of my life.”

David Nairn, as director of this production, became a subject of our conversation, when we asked what the difference was for them under a director in a professional production.

Sophie said, “He was so friendly, a welcoming smile. He’s so playful – you don’t see him as a boss. What he taught me was: you don’t look at the audience. He has the brightest ideas – make sure you’re a girl, he said.”

Sarah related, “In our first kids’ meeting, he told us there are no understudies for us. ‘If you get hurt or sick, I’m going to have to wear that dress…’ When he told us don’t look at the audience, that made a lot more sense.”

They exchanged a little banter about their personal contrasts.

“She’s morning person,” said Sophie of her sibling in a mock complaint, as they have separate bedrooms. “I love my bed.”

“Yes, I like to get up early,” Sarah confirmed.

Said Sophie, “Sometimes, she dresses like a disco ball…”

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