The Cast of Small Mouth Sounds Recalls Their First Performances

By Taylor Steinbeck

Though Small Mouth Sounds is closing at The Strand this weekend, over at The Geary Theater, performances of A.C.T.'s annual production of A Christmas Carol are just beginning. In Carol, 29 members of the cast are made up A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory students, with many of these young actors making their professional acting debut. To celebrate its opening tonight, we reached out to some of the Small Mouth Sounds cast to find out about their first memories of performing.

Judy (Cherene Snow) and Joan (Socorro Santiago) share a moment in A.C.T.'s production
 of Small Mouth Sounds. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.
Ben Beckley (Ned): There are recordings of me acting out fairy tales with my grandmother when I could barely talk, but my first vivid memory of performing was the exit applause I got in the sixth grade as the Artful Dodger in a straight adaption of Oliver. That, and a mildly disastrous middle school production of Antigone the same year.

Cherene Snow (Judy): My first performance was in kindergarten in Little Red Hen, but only my mother remembers this. After acting in my first film—Cooley High (1975)—I knew I wanted to be a performer for the rest of my life.

Connor Barrett (Jan): In middle school, my class co-wrote a play with our amazing teacher, Mr. James Sylvia and we got to perform it. It was either an homage to Noël Coward, or we just heavily ripped him off.

Edward Chin-Lyn (Rodney): My first memory of performing was as a narrator in an elementary school play. I froze onstage and ran off—I was a shy kid. I later found my way into acting during college after taking an introduction to acting class as my arts elective.

Socorro Santiago (Joan): I was seven years old, performing Abbott and Costello skits on the street with my sister.

Orville Mendoza (Teacher): I started singing in church when I was six or seven. There was a Christian acting troupe that came to our church and they needed a boy to play Isaac in the recreation of Abraham and Isaac. I was chosen. The acting bug bit me!

A.C.T.’s production of Small Mouth Sounds ends this Sunday, December 10, at The Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street. Click here to purchase tickets through our website. Want to learn more about the production? Order a copy of Words on Plays, A.C.T.'s in-depth performance guide series.

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