Meet two generations of actors– Caspian and Jeff! Describing each other as “bonus kid” and “bonus parent,” Jeff is Caspian’s stepdad, and they’re sharing the stage this weekend! Keenan (GREAT’s Engagement Manager) talked with this parent/child duo about their decision to audition together, the rehearsal process, and of course, The Lightning Thief!

Keenan: Why did you audition for The Lightning Thief

Caspian: I fell in love with theatre as a freshman, and I’ve been wanting to do a GREAT show forever. When I saw that GREAT was producing this show I knew I had to audition. Then I saw how many roles there are for adults, and I knew it would be a good show for us to do together.

Keenan: How did you react to that proposal, Jeff?

Jeff: I’m happy to do a show with C for sure, but I wasn’t sold on The Lightning Thief. I’ve never read the books or watched the movies, so I knew very little about it. Then C had me listen to “Another Terrible Day,” and it was a really fun song, so I listened some more… 

Keenan: Cool. So you did some research? 

Caspian: Well, I forced him to do research.

Jeff: So Caspian convinced me that this show would be fun, but in the larger sense, I’ve worked with GREAT on a few recent shows as a way to meet people and reintegrate myself into the St. Cloud community. We just moved back here a year ago. 

Keenan: And has it turned out to be a good way to meet people?

Jeff:  It has been fantastic in that regard. I’ve met lots of very cool people and have established a wonderful friend group because of GREAT.

Keenan: We love to hear that! Why did you want to do a show together?  

Caspian: We knew it would be a good way to bond because we both love theatre, and I love the story of Percy Jackson. I think I relate to being in a world where you don’t feel like you belong and then finding that place where you finally fit in. For me, that was bouncing between my dad’s house and my mom’s house and it kind of felt like I didn’t fully know anybody anywhere. And so in theatre, I found those people who I really connected with. And so that’s why I really connect to this show. Finding that found family. And that makes it a great show for us to do together, too.

Keenan: Jeff, as a newcomer to The Lightning Thief, what do you think will resonate with audiences? 

Jeff: I’ts going to be a really unique show, especially the way that Aimee (the director for this show) has blocked parts of the show using the Meraki. I think people are going to just love seeing the crazy costumes that they’re doing and the fun music. Everything that C said too, in terms of the storyline, I think will resonate. For me, I think the unique direction, some really funny and special moments, and the overall design of the show are what’s most exciting.

Caspian: And going off that, audiences are going to have a good time. It’s a fun show. It’s obviously really fun. I hope families that have a situation like ours where there’s a bonus parent and stuff, I hope they take across that sometimes your found family is your true family.

Keenan: What advice would you give to actors who want to audition for shows alongside their family?

Jeff: I think it’s great. It’s super fun. I would take the plunge. It’s a great experience already, and doing it with people you know makes it even more fun, because you get to know different sides of people. You’ll see people doing things you wouldn’t have thought you’d ever see them do in rehearsals! 

Caspian: Yeah, really just do it. Try to encourage each other, because it is a really good way to bond. At first I was a little nervous because theatre is my sanctuary. I was worried that sharing the space with Jeff might mean toning down my own personality, or being hyper aware of his presence. But like Jeff said, it’s a good way to see different sides of each other. And outside of rehearsal, it gives us something to talk about!

Come see the show Jeff, Caspian, and the entire pantheon they are talking about! The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical opens tonight at the Paramount Center for the Arts!