Being a teenager is an awkward and stressful time, but imagine being LCCVI student TJ Kiff Barker.
He’s playing Gabe Lawson in the new Petrolia Community Theater production Things My Mother Taught Me. Gabe is a young man in love who moves in with Olivia and then plans to propose when their parents are there. Olivia is played by 18-year-old Meagan Douglas, whom Barker has gone to school with his whole life.
Add to it that this is Barker’s first role in a play and that could equal a whole lot of stress. But the 18-year-old doesn’t seem to mind.
”I’ve dated people. I’ve had a lot of experience with love and heartbreak and everything in between, so acting it out isn’t really that difficult.” Barker says
Since January, Barker and Douglas have been working on their chemistry and it hasn’t always been easy. “I have to dig into feelings I’ve never had. It’s hard but I know how to get to it,” says Douglas.
Since Gabe and Olivia are a couple, there’s bound to be some kissing , but both Douglas and Barker are used to it. “At first, it was really awkward. But after we buckled down it became routine, like a line” says Douglas, who has years of theatre experience.
There is one thing Barker found a little difficult – proposing. “When you’re proposing you’re supposed to be on one knee facing her, but on stage you turn yourself to the front. It feels so unnatural and wrong.” Barker says
Thing My Mother Taught Me takes to the stage at Victoria Hall April 3, 4, 5, and 6. Tickets are available through the VPP box office.