By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
Michael Collins said playing all the roles in Cinderella in The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon is like doing wind sprints while acting.
He would know.
Along with donning multiple colorful wigs in the Keizer Homegrown Theatre show, Collins is also training for an IronMan triathlon and plays trumpet in the Salem Pops Orchestra.
Collins works for the Department of Justice and everyday for the last seven and half years has written an original poem.
“I’m always kind of juggling,” Collins said. “I am busy but I like being busy.”
Along with Cinderella, Collins plays the wicked step mother, the two wicked step sisters, the prince and a flock of birds after all the other actors in the play get sick with food poisoning and one person has to step it and do it all.
Collins decided to audition for the show, which runs March 16-17, 23-24 at 7 p.m. and March 18 and 25 at 2 p.m., at the recommendation of his wife.
“She said ‘one person playing all these characters, that sounds like you,’” Collins said.
Director Linda Baker cast Collins right on the spot.
“His audition piece was phenomenally brilliant so before I even left auditions I said please be in The Spectaculathon and I want you to play this part and here’s a script,” Baker said.
Collins said he didn’t actually have a piece prepared for the audition so instead he delivered a version of Aesop Fables’ The Fox and the Grapes, a story he’s told to students at Englewood Elementary School every March as part of Read Across America for 20 years since his own kids were in kindergarten.
“I cut that down and just did it,” Collins said.
In The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, written by Don Zolidis, two narrators attempt to recreate all 209 Brothers Grimm fairy tales, ranging from classics like Snow White and Cinderella to more obscure stories like The Devil’s Grandmother and The Girl Without Hands.
At the end is a two-minute recap.
“Things just pop in and out, people change roles, genders are bent,” Baker said. “Props are thrown on and off stage. Sometimes somebody dies and pops back up and is another character. It’s a roller coaster. It’s a silly, surprisingly witty work. It gives our actors a lot to think about and stretch.”
The two narrators, both McNary graduates who have been with Keizer Homegrown since the beginning, are Allison Reid and Anthony O’Neal.
Another McNary alum, Jeff Minden, is co-directing the show with Baker.
Seven other actors, Collins, Nicholas Hikes, Dylan Marley, Braden Pippert, Rebekah Pippert, Lauren Stenerson and Marah Walsh have divided up the rest of the parts.
“We opened it up a little bit. It can be played with as few as five people but I don’t know how that would be possible,” Baker said.
Hikes, who also graduated from McNary, plays Rumplestiltskin and a prince. But his favorite part is a dwarf that plays Snow White.
“It’s way more fun that I thought it was going to be,” Hikes said. “I’ve seen versions of the show before where it’s just not as fun as we’re doing it. There are so many kooky costume pieces. It’s just a pure delight every time I come in here.”
The show is Keizer Homegrown’s first at its new theatre, located at the Keizer heritage Center, 980 Chemawa Rd. NE.
General admission tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com/events/3131857.