|Kristi Schwartz (center) as Linda, who is mom |
to a rocket scientist Allie (Shay Curran, left) and a brain surgeon Angie (Ansley Barnard, right)
PHOTO by Jim Kelly
In Let Nothing You Dismay, adoptive parents-to-be await their baby’s birth on Christmas Day. Against their wishes, their entire extended family descends on the hospital. Ten actors play 25 roles in this crazy holiday farce at the Farmington Players Barn Theater, which runs from November 30 – December 15. Like most actors in this show, Kristi Schwartz plays three very different characters. As Kristi says, “Being in this show has been on my ‘bucket list’ because of the challenge of playing so many different roles. When I am in a show, I put so much effort into my character, even making up a backstory that helps me with playing my character more effectively.”
Kristi describes her three larger-than-life characters as follows:
“Tawny is a very shallow, vain, trashy kind of girl! She is overly concerned with her appearance and drinks vodka to ease the pain of her loneliness. She just lost her cat, who may have been her best friend. She is very proud of her daughter, Kaitlyn, and tries to live through her. She was a ‘pageant’ mom who feels that outer beauty is the way to be successful in life. Deep down, she is a very lonely character and she craves family, no matter how crazy the family may be!” Tawny was a former model, and while Kristi has very little in common with Tawny, Kristi does hold the title of "Miss Saline 1992"!
“Deb from Upstairs is a very open, hippie-sort, who is not afraid to insert herself into any conversation or situation. She is able to read people's auras and uses crystals to help guide her through her day at the hospital. Deep down, she wants to help and guide the expectant parents through this childbirth process. She acts like she is just another member of the family and truly wants to support everyone while she is there, whether they ask for help or not!” While Kristi herself is not as assertive as Deb, she enjoys the challenge of playing Deb because “it teaches me that sometimes it is okay to be open, especially when you are helping others.”
“Linda is a very selfish, arrogant, controlling person. She has her own opinion about things and does not mince words to convey that to others. She loves her daughters Allie and Angela very much, but does not want them living their lives in a way that is not parallel with her plan for them. For me, the most difficult challenge in playing Linda is trying to balance the short, curt, domineering side with her loving side. Linda needs to remain in control at all times, which to her means to boss everyone around. I find it fun to play Linda because she can be the character that people love to hate.”
Despite her characters’ differences, Kristi finds that “the one thread that binds them together is the fact that they all crave family. In one way or another, they want to belong.” Family is the main theme of Let Nothing You Dismay, and Kristi can relate to “how crazy, different, and loving a family can be at times. I come from a very large immediate and extended family with many different personalities. We often find ourselves on opposite sides of an issue, but at the end of the day, this family is there for me no matter what!” Kristi feels that audiences will connect with the families in this play because “Life is about our interconnectedness and this show exemplifies that. It also may make some feel thankful for what they do have. I love that it is set during the holiday-time for a funny, feel-good experience. The entire cast and crew is like another family to me and I am blessed to be part of this!”
Kristi works as an instructional coach for the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools and lives in Canton with her husband, Keith, and three children, Colin, Allie, and Drew.
Let Nothing You Dismay has 10 performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from November 30 – December 15. The show is proudly sponsored by Weinstein Jewelers. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing email@example.com or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.