Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dynamic Duo in “Next to Normal”

Diving in Heart First

Interview and article by: Taylor Nefcy

Next To Normal: an increasingly popular rock musical that was nominated for eleven Tony Awards back in 2009. It depicts certain hardships within a family, illustrating their pain, grace, perseverance, and vulnerability on all levels. But this is not your average musical, and these are not your average actors. Next To Normal – as described by The New York Times – depicts the “portrait of a manic-depressive mother and the people she loves and damages is something much more: a feel-everything musical, which asks you, with operatic force, to discover the liberation of knowing where it hurts.” The lead roles of Dan and Diana (husband and wife) are played by Kelly Carey and Larry Young, who have brought the production of Next To Normal to new heights. But what you may not know is that the two leading actors have a history that go beyond the stage of these characters.

Enter Kelly Carey: a poised, well-rounded professional actress and singer whose resume is nothing short of excellence. Not only being an avid participator of Actors’ Theatre productions – such as Floyd Collins, Bat Boy the Musical, Spitfire Grill, Rabbit Hole, and Tick Tick Boom – Kelly has also performed other roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and The Marvelous Wonderettes. Kelly has notably shared the stage with Broadway Actor Timothy Shrew and Tony-Award winner Sutton Foster, while also being a “swinger” in the developmental run of the Broadway bound CHIX 6 in Queen’s Theatre, New York. And now Kelly is back for Actors’ Theatre debut of Next to Normal, playing the role of Diana.

Enter Larry Young: whose level of talent, drive, and discipline goes beyond Grand Rapids to a solo debut in Carnegie Hall. While also a devoted participant of Actors’ Theatre – with Grand Award winning performances in Bat Boy the Musical, Urinetown, and The Kiss of the Spider Woman – Larry too has shared the stage with Tony-Award winning Sutton Foster and has traveled nationally and internationally for his performances. Larry has performed for a number of theaters including Mason Street Warehouse Theatre, Circle Theatre, Bijou Orchestra, PEP Productions and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre – his fifteen years’ experience as a professional actor and singer shining through, impressing, and succeeding no matter what the environment. Here, Larry is back once again on the Actors’ stage in Next to Normal as the role of Dan.

Enter the dynamic duo: who since their first Actors’ show together (Floyd Collins) in 2000; Kelly and Larry have continued working together through a myriad of projects – both as friends and business partners. With shows such as Floyd Collins and Bat Boy the Musical under their belts, they developed their talents further in establishing Creative Edge Productions as co-founders. Creative Edge Productions started in 2009 – beginning more as a project than an actual business. The idea was initially sparked by Kelly, who was asked to do a live musical showcase by the DeVos Place for a finale of an event. Turning to Larry for help, they were able to succeed and showcase a phenomenal finale for the DeVos event. Since then, Kelly (artistic director) and Larry (managing director) have combined their talents into a unique, personalized entertainment business, where they specialize in providing entertainment for benefit concerts, fundraisers, and conventions. A notable event they have been showcasing for over three years is Broadway, Our Way, a performance tribute to memorable Broadway songs.

But after several debuts outside of Actors’ Theatre – both locally and nationally – Actors’ Theatre remains an almost nostalgic workplace environment for Kelly and Larry. Working with Actors’ Theatre has always been a positive experience for them, where there is drive for success, high commitment, and love of the challenge collaterally acknowledged throughout the entire rehearsal process. For Kelly, she continues working with Actors’ because of the more challenging material they provide, as well as the competition and high expectations of auditions and productions. Actors’ Theatre is a place Kelly sees as an opportunity to grow and develop more as an actor, a place of challenge but also reward. “I’m a mom, I have a full time job, and I’m a voice teacher for over thirty students,” says Kelly, “deciding to work here [at Actors’] is a serious commitment, but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t absolutely love it.” For Larry, Actors’ Theatre marks the stepping stone of the start of his acting and singing career. Starting off as an education major, Larry took acting classes and participated in productions as extracurricular activities. It wasn’t until Fred Sebulske – founder of Actors’ Theatre and also Larry’s acting professor at GRCC – recognized Larry’s natural talent and convinced him to pursue and cultivate his art. Now, with a BA in Theatre from Hope College, Larry has embraced theatre as his lifestyle and sees Fred as the start of it all. “Fred was the reason why I got into theatre,” says Larry, “he was so nurturing and wonderful and fantastic. He was the one who pushed me forward. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Fred.”

And now Kelly and Larry are to be seen in a dynamic duo once again, performing the roles of Diana and Dan in the production of Next To Normal. Larry’s love and knowledge of the show is very evident – noting that he saw the performance in New York twice, as well as the tour in Chicago – and he deeply respects the music, the story, and the depth of the characters. He describes how the message of the show is powerful, “that even though there is no real solution, there is a light in the dark; there is hope.” Larry’s appreciation and passion for Next To Normal resonates solidly through his character, as he has embraced the opportunity to really dig into the acting and challenge of the vocal arrangement. For Kelly, Next To Normal was a show she was unfamiliar with, but after listening to the soundtrack, she was completely captivated from beginning to end. “Whenever I listen to a new musical track, I jog to it. I was listening to Next To Normal and when I got to the last song, I realized I had been running nonstop for two hours and I didn’t even notice because of how struck I was by the soundtrack.”

Performing in a production of Next To Normal has been on both Kelly and Larry’s bucket list of characters. And now, not only do they get to star in one of their top musicals, but they get to perform together once again. Kelly and Larry – the professional and talented actors as they are – have completely embraced the show as seen through their unwavering drive and commitment to both preserve and elevate the beauty of Next To Normal through their characters. The dynamics of the show come with difficult challenges, but Kelly and Larry have overcome these and have dived into the making of Next To Normal heart first.

Want to learn more about Creative Edge Productions?
Kelly Carey, artistic director:
Larry Young, management director:

Interested in voice lessons with Kelly Carey?
Visit for more information

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Actors’ Announces 10th Annual Living on the Edge Call for Submissions: “Superstition”

2013 marks the tenth installment of the Actors’ Theatre annual 10 minute play festival, Living on the Edge.  We cordially extend an invitation to interested Michigan writers to submit a script for consideration.

The deadline for scripts will be March 1, 2013.  Actors’ Living on the Edge committee, guided by Actors’ Literary Manager Randy Wyatt, will read all scripts.  From the initial submission, ten semi-finalists will be selected for a public reading, to be held in April of 2013. All writers whose work is not selected for public reading will receive written feedback on their work by April 30, 2013.

The reading of the fifteen scripts presented on a Saturday in April (Date/Time TBA) at Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain Street.  At the public reading playwrights will receive verbal and written feedback on their piece. Based on audience response and feedback, the Living on the Edge committee will choose five finalists from the scripts read at the public reading.  These finalists will receive full production from June 6-8, 2013 in the “black box” performance space (Room 201 – Spectrum Theater Building).

The writers whose scripts are chosen for final production will receive $100. Everyone who submits a script for consideration will receive two complimentary tickets to any show during the Actors’ 2013-14 Season. The theme this year that writers are asked to respond to is “Superstition”. We encourage playwrights to consider the following as they craft their submission:

·         The five scripts chosen will be performed before an audience. We always encourage writers to create pieces that will be dynamic and engaging when presented by performers on stage.

·          We’re excited to read your submission so choose any direction that is exciting and productive for you as a writer.  If you’re excited about the direction, it’s more likely that we will see that in your submission as well.

·         Craft a 10 minute play highlighting an aspect of the chosen theme.  It can tie in broadly or very specifically, but relevance to the theme is a key consideration in selection.

Submit your play, including a brief synopsis, by email to and include “LOTE X” in the subject line.  Submissions will also be accepted via U.S. mail to

Actors’ Theatre
Attn: LOTE X
143 Bostwick NE
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503

on or before March 1, 2013. To be considered, the playwright must currently reside in the state of Michigan, or have resided within the last twelve months.  All submissions must include a cover page that lists your name, address, phone number, email, title of play, total number of actors, and a brief synopsis of the work. Please do not list your name on any page other than your cover so that all plays may be read with anonymity by the committee.  Final production decisions will be based on originality, ability to cast and produce, and the way the plays chosen fit together for an evening of theatre.

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Actors’ Congratulates Addison Reid Coe on His Role in “West Side Story”

Addison Reid Coe with Maggie Nye in “Spring Awakening,” Dec. 2012. Photo Credit: Moments in Life Photography.

Actors’ patrons will remember Addison Reid Coe from last year’s production of Spring Awakening. Addison will be playing Tony in the upcoming national tour of West Side Story.

For more information, check out this article on by John Liberty:

KALAMAZOO, MI — If anyone is waiting to buy tickets to see the revival of“West Side Story” come through Miller Auditorium, you may want to act soon.

One of the show’s stars,Addison Reid Coe, is a native of Rochester and a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids. During a phone interview with Coe from his home in New York City, the 25-year-old actor said his mom bought around 80 tickets to both shows on Nov 13-14.

Coe, who also has performed with the Grand Rapids Actors Theatre, Calvin College Theater Company and the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, among others, said she purchased enough tickets for friends, family and “everyone in between.” The Kalamazoo performance will be the only one in Michigan for the tour. Coe, who will play Tony, said he’ll be “energized in a different way” for the West Michigan performances. ()

Read the complete article and get information on the performance in Kalamazoo on

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Actors Needed! – The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company

The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company is looking to cast a few more actors to add to the cast of their All’s Well That Ends Well. They cast both men and women. If you are interested and want further details, please send a message to

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Meet the Cast of “Next to Normal”

Kelly Carey (Diana)

Kelly Carey PhotoKelly was recently in New York City performing in Chix 6 (The Queen’s Theatre In The Park). While in NYC, Kelly also worked on a number of upcoming musical projects for various composers including doing vocal arranging and recording original concept demos. Kelly is no stranger to the Actors’ stage. Her past credits include: Floyd Collins*, Batboy the Musical*, Spitfire Grill*, Rabbit Hole* and Tick Tick Boom. Other area theater credits include:Smokey Joe’s CaféThe Marvelous WonderettesDas Barbeque, …Trailer Park MusicalFull Gallop (Mason Street Warehouse); A Chorus LineEvitaJCS*, Merrily We Roll Along (Circle Theatre); Singin’ in the Rain* (Civic Theatre)(*Grand Award received/nominated). Kelly has also been headlining her solo cabaret act at the Dunes Resort (in Saugatuck) for ten years. She is also a vocal coach and audition preparation expert.

Jared Graybiel (Dr. Madden)

Jared Graybiel PhotoJared is thrilled to be making his Grand Rapids theatre debut at Actors’ Theatre. Jared is a graduate of Hope College (2010). While there, he trained vocally in musical theater with Linda Dykstra. Under her teaching, Jared placed 1st in the National Association of Teachers of Singing at both the state and regional competition and was named “Most Promising Voice in Musical Theatre.” He was also heavily involved in Hope’s theatre and musical theatre program. Favorite theatre credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Wonderful Town(ensemble), By the Bog of Cats (Ghost Fancier), and The 1940s Radio Hour (BJ Gibson).

Kyle Los (Gabe)

Kyle Los PhotoKyle was last seen at Actors’ Theatre as Hanschen in Spring Awakening. He is excited to be returning to the Actors’ stage after his Grand Award-winning performance as Berger in Hair at Circle Theater this past summer. You may recall seeing Kyle on Actors’ stage: Michael in The Sweetest Swing in Baseball and the Lecturer in Reefer Madness: The Musical [Nominated for a Grand Award]. Recently, Kyle has also worked off-stage as the Assistant Director for the Grand Award winning production of August: Osage County at Actors’ Theatre and the Sound Designer for Escanaba in Da Moonlight at Circle Theatre.

Duncan McCargar (Henry)

Duncan McCargar PhotoDuncan is so pleased to be back at Actors’ Theatre. He was last seen in last season’s production of Spring Awakening as Moritz. Duncan has also been seen in: Magic Circle Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland as the White Rabbit and as Rocky in Laugh Fest’s 2011 production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He is currently a theatre major at Aquinas College where he has appeared in Isle of MarvelsNevermore (Grand Award Nominee), Any Other NameA Room with a View, and Writer 1272 (Grand Award Nominee).

Maggie Nye (Natalie)

Maggie Nye PhotoMaggie could not be more thrilled to be a part of this production. She has performed on Grand Rapids Community Theatre stages many times throughout her 20 years of life. Some of her favorite roles include Peter Pan (Peter Pan 2010), Little Guido (Nine 2005), and her Grand Award winning role as Wendla in last season’s production of Spring Awakening.

Larry Young (Dan)

Larry Young PhotoLarry has been on the Actors’ Theatre stage for many productions including Floyd CollinsPacific OverturesSide ShowThe Last Five Years, and most recently Next Fall. He has won three Grand Awards for his performances as Dr. Parker in Bat Boy, Officer Lockstock inUrinetown and Valentin in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Larry is a graduate of GRCC and Hope College with a B.A. in Theater, He has performed with companies throughout the U.S. and also Vancouver, B.C. Currently Larry is the Managing Director of CREATIVE EDGE PRODUCTIONS and is in the process of forming a new company called L-CONCIERGE.

Production Information for Next to Normal:

November 29 – December 15, 2012: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM.

Go to the Actors’ Theatre website:

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