Ryan Maxwell Photography Blog

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Huckleberry Finn’s Big River @ Adventure Theatre MTC

Normally, after I’ve taken production photos, I’ll come here to post a few shots to give a feeling of the show, the design elements, and the performances. However, in the case of Huckleberry Finn’s Big River at Adventure Theatre MTC, the process was a bit different, so the product below is special as well.

Big River is a story about very young characters, produced by one of DC’s best theatres for young audiences, and the production has at its core four roles played by actors who are children themselves, and each of those roles is being played by two different young professionals.

So documenting this show presented a unique opportunity for a photographer to see and shoot it twice in rapid succession: With nearly half the cast being turned over and performed by new actors. As with any piece of theatre, each performer makes the role their own while the entire production maintains an overall cohesion and precision. So the show is the same, but so many of the moments are just a bit different and special in tiny alchemical ways that only those performers can bring about.

And as a production photographer, my job is to communicate all that to you: To capture all the great work of the designers, directors, and other performers, while delivering a feel for what each young actor brings to the stage; the ways their presence and personality makes their role and relationships uniquely their own, and how the entire experience is entertaining, exciting, and wonderful… no matter which cast you’re seeing.

Huckleberry Finn’s Big River
Book by William Hauptman, Music and Lyrics by Roger Miller
New arrangements and orchestrations by William Yanesh
Produced by Adventure Theatre MTC

Directed by Michael Baron
Music Director: Tiffany Holmes
Choreographer: Ashleigh King
Stage Manager: Kirsten E. Parker

Scenic Design: Debra Kim Sivigny
Costume Design: Jeffrey Meek
Lighting Designer: Harold Burgess
Sound Designer: Kevin Alexander
Props Designer: Patti Kalil

Featuring: Madisyn Brown, Nathan Butts, Ella Coulson, Max Gerecht, Alexa Givens, Calvin Malone, Zach Rakotomaniraka, Matthew Schleigh, Jonah Schwartz, Anna Marie C. Shockey, Sara Anne Sillers, Joshua Simon, Meredith Eib, and Ariel Messeca