By Lukas Steinberg
Shanghai-based theater production company Play The Spotlight is back with the second show starring Apphia Campbell – just right in time to put you guys in a Christmasy mood.
We’ve had the chance to squeeze a few words out of Apphia, who already charmed us with her powerful voice and performance in Black is The Color of My Voice earlier this year.
A few months have past since we saw you shine in ‘Black is The Color of My Voice’. How did you keep yourself busy over the summer? Don’t tell us you’ve spent all those hot humid months writing a holiday play and practicing Christmas evergreens?
Ha! Ha! This summer I had the opportunity to take Black Is The Color Of My Voice to New York, and present in the Midtown International Theatre Festival. It was my first time taking a work to a theatre festival. It was exhilarating and scary, but overall an exciting and learning experience. It went really well, and received some great reviews. I had a great opportunity to spend the summer in New York watch plays, hang out in Central Park, go to concerts, the beach, and see old friends. It was rejuvenating!
Joking aside. ‘Black Is the Color of My Voice’ was a very intense play, personal and not exactly what I’d call light-hearted. A Christmas comedy (your words) sounds quite like the departure from it’s predecessor. How did you come up with this concept and what can we expect?
Yes, Black Is The Color of My Voice was intense, even for me as a writer and performer. It’s why I wanted something very different. I love Christmas songs, and I know being abroad we don’t get to hear them. I miss hearing them. So, I wanted to do something that showed another side of who I am as a person and artist. Also, I wanted to give Shanghai a piece of home for this holiday. I came up with the concept because I wanted a piece that focused around the relationship of two friends. The play is about two actresses living in New York trying to find their holiday spirit. They meet a new friend who gives them an opportunity that could make all their dreams come true, but only one of them can take it. We see how the comedic drama unfolds between them, and we bop to some of our favorite Christmas songs along the way All I want for Christmas is you, Winter wonderland, I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause, and many more.
Is singing essential for you to express yourself as an actress, or is in a mere coincidence that music will be a central element in Holiday Hitch as well?
Music drives me! I love music and theatre. So, whenever I can, I try to combine the two. Luckily, they invented musical theatre! With Black is the Color of my Voice I started with songs that really moved me, and then I mapped out the play from there. I did the same with this piece, and am really happy with how it all came out. I’m hoping Shanghai audiences enter our holiday house, and leave even more excited and ready for the season.
Do you have any surprises?
Well, the one surprise to expect is the voice of the other actor, Kevin Maxim. His voice will blow you away! We have some clips of our singing in the rehearsals online. Click here to get a sneak peak! You’ll get super excited! Cecilia Garcia is the other actress in the play, and she is hilarious as a comedic actress and personality. It’s great!