With tech rehearsals in full swing, amidst actors crafting costumes, lighting cues being tested, and sets being mounted, we were able to find some time to sit down with Children of Eden cast member Tina Valente. Growing up a part of the SFT, Tina was able to give us some insight into her history with the theatre & her experiences its landmark 50th production.
SFT: Hi, Tina! So tell us who you play in Children of Eden.
Tina: I play Mama Noah and Eve. I start out as Eve in act one and then in act two I switch to Mama.
SFT: Can you tell us a little bit about the show?
Tina: Yeah! A lot of people think of the show as biblical, but we kind of took a different perspective, so it’s mostly about connections with family and friendships and relationships, different problems that everyone deals with, growing up & learning right from wrong.
SFT: So you’ve been a part of the Square Foot Theatre for a long time.
SFT: When did you start?
Tina: I started taking voice lessons with Jared when I was 13, in 7th grade. We saw an ad in the paper, and I always had stage fright so we figured that voice lessons were a good place to start.
SFT: Did you start doing shows around then, too?
Tina: Yeah, I started doing shows. My first show here was Guys & Dolls Jr. back on Broadway in the black box. That year I was 13.
SFT: And you’ve done shows here pretty consistently since then.
Tina: Yeah! Probably at least 15 here. I’ve done most of my shows here, most of my experience with theatre has been at the Square Foot Theatre.
SFT: So this show is different, I’m sure, than any other show you’ve done.
Tina: Yeah, yeah definitely! I mean, it’s different first of all because I’ve never performed in the new theatre, so I’m really excited about that. I’m a little nervous because it’s such an intimate setting. But yeah, it’s a lot different for me personally. I think it’s definitely pushed me both vocally and emotionally as an actress.
SFT: What’s something that you find interesting about this show, that might make audiences want to come see it?
Tina: The music is absolutely beautiful! Stephen Schwartz did an amazing job composing the show. And also, anybody can really relate to it, so even though it’s not your typical cheesy musical, it’s something definitely worth seeing.
SFT: Last question – so, we talk about the Garden of Eden as being “perfect” a lot in the show. So, if you had to choose your “garden” – your perfect place – where would it be?
Tina: My perfect place would definitely be back in the Berkshires with my family. We went one Thanksgiving and my entire family was there, back when both of my grandfathers were alive, so I would say that would be my “Eden”.
Come see Tina and the rest of the cast of Children of Eden this Thursday, August 11 – Sunday, August 14! For ticket info, see squarefoottheatre.com/tickets.