All this weekend, Nina O’Keefe will be playing Fern in Candles to the Sun. She’s understudying for Julie Daley, and she’s been working with us since the first rehearsal back in early February. I’ve watched her work with the cast in rehearsals, and I’m excited to see how her presence changes the show this weekend.

I got to watch my own understudy back in the 2006 season – my sister’s wedding fell in the middle of the run of Boy Gets Girl, and I got to watch James Joseph, who did a fantastic job, rehearse my role with the actors I had spent the last two months working with.

It’s a strange feeling as an actor to watch someone else play a role that you feel closely connected to (I watched a dress rehearsal and kept thinking “he’s wearing my clothes!”), but it’s also invigorating for everyone – I got to see an actor bring a different energy and make different choices (some of which, of course, I unashamedly stole when I went back on the following week), James got an opportunity to play a great character, and the rest of the cast got to feel a sense of newness that sometimes fades over a six-week run.


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