Among the talented cast of Bells Are Ringing are Allison Kochanski and Jake Wood.  Now, in the second week of rehearsing with Jamie Fidler and James Cech, we asked Allison and Jake to explain their roles in the show, and to tell us a bit about themselves.

Allison Kochanski

To start, my character’s name is Ella Peterson, a twenty something switchboard operator in 1956. She’s a

Allison and Jamie
Allison Kochanski (left) and Jamie Fidler at rehearsal for Bells Are Ringing

very quirky girl who tends to get very involved with the subscribers at Susanswerphone. The thing I love about Ella is that despite all odds, she goes out of her way to help others. She’s such a passionate person, and not afraid to be herself!

As for me…my theatre experience started between my “awkward” and “not as awkward” stages of life, in 8th grade. I am, sad to say, not a child prodigy. Haha. I was always a shy individual, but being able to step out of my box as different characters really interested me. I performed in lots of shows all throughout high school, and by my junior year decided I wanted to pursue theatre as my career. I am now a senior BFA Musical Theatre student at OU, and have been blessed with all of the shows, and great learning experiences I’ve had here over the last four years! Where will I be next year? Who knows! Hired hopefully! haha.

I’ve actually had the chance to work with interpreters before for two productions I was in at Oakland: “Drat! The Cat” (freshman year), and “The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue” (Junior year), and I am very excited about working with the ‘terps for Bells! Jamie and James are awesome…and fun to watch, I might add! =) They were at our last rehearsal walking the set/signing while we ran some scenes, and when ever I was off stage I couldn’t stop watching them (in a non-creepy way)! Sign Language is beautifully mesmerizing! I just feel bad that I’m still on book (not fully memorized), and fumbling with some blocking memorization.

It’s going to be a great show, and I know that the “J” team will add a great dynamic to it! Yay! =D

Jake Wood

Hey! I’m Jake Wood, a sophomore at Oakland University, and I will be playing Jeff Moss in this winter’s

Jake Wood and James Cech in Bells Are Ringing
Jake Wood (left) and James Cech meet up at TerpTheatre's first rehearsal for Bells Are Ringing

production of Bells Are Ringing. Jeff Moss is smooth-talking, suave guy who knows how to party, which proves to be his greatest downfall. He is a struggling playwright who turns to alcohol and girls to distract him from writing this new play. He has a great relationship with his answering service girl, “Mom”, who he thinks is a little old lady. She is his muse and inspiration and she is always encouraging him to never give up. A girl named Melisande Scott (who really is Ella Peterson and “Mom”) comes crashing into his life and turns his whole world around. He realizes how much she has helped him and falls in love with her, if only he knew who she really was.

I’ve been involved with theatre for most of my life. I remember deciding in middle school that I really wanted to make a career out of this. I’ve done mostly musicals and for awhile I wanted to go into opera. I decided later on in high school to audition for college programs and my ultimate goal is to perform on Broadway and win a Tony Award. Performing is the greatest thrill of all. To entertain people and make them laugh and feel your emotions is incredibly rewarding.

This is my second time working with TerpTheatre. I was in Oakland’s production of Company in the Fall, which was interpreted. I remember watching a dress rehearsal of Little Women at Oakland in Spring 2010 and it was my first time seeing shadow interpreting. I love the depth that interpreting gives to a performance. It is so cool to have someone onstage to interact with in that way. Performing with the interpreters was a little daunting during my first show. It was a challenge to figure out how to interact with them to bring them into the world we have created on stage. I think it will be much easier my second time around. James and Jamie have been a blast to have at rehearsals, because in a way, they can add a new insight to the character that maybe I missed or didn’t see. We just started working with them and I am excited to see how our relationships evolve with them on stage. I cannot wait to perform on stage with them in February!

Bells Are Ringing

Saturday, February 12, 2011

TIcket Information and Performance Details on TerpTheatre’s Website

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