Friday, November 15, 2013

The Science of Chewing Bubble Gum

An Actress learns to navigate a sugary prop

Travis Steubing and Tashina Richardson in RASPBERRY FIZZ

Actress Tashina Richardson consumes lots of sugar while performing in the Audacity Theatre Lab play Raspberry Fizz. Besides consuming a bottle and half of raspberry soda during each and every show, she chews a lot of bubble gum.

“The trick is to start chewing it fifteen to twenty minutes before curtain so it has optimal popping elasticity,” says Richardson.

During the show, Richardson’s character Samantha blows and pops gum at key moments. This means that Richardson has to juggle drinking the carbonated soda, saying the lines and blowing those bubbles at the right time so it all looks effortless.

“It is akin to rubbing one’s tummy and patting one’s head while reciting the Gettysburg Address,” says director Brad McEntire, who also wrote Raspberry Fizz and performs a small role in it as well. “It takes some focus. I’m impressed at how she does it.”

“Each pack of gum has fifteen sticks and I went through a whole pack outside of rehearsals just practicing blowing really good bubbles,” says Richardson. “I averaged about three sticks in every rehearsal.”

Raspberry Fizz involves an encounter between two adolescents as they explore anticipation and expectations in 1949 small town America. The play premiered in Addison, Texas in March of 2012 at the Water Tower Theatre's Out of the Loop Fringe Festival directed by Andy Baldwin and featuring Jeff Swearingen and Natalie Young.

The current production featuring Travis Stuebing, Tashina Richardson and Brad McEntire recently returned from a hit run at the Houston Fringe Festival.

The show will be playing Saturdays at 2 PM, November 16, 23, 30 and December 7 at the historic Margo Jones Theatre at the Magnolia Lounge, Fair Park, 1121 First Avenue, Dallas, TX 75210. Tickets are $10 suggested donation at the door. More information at:

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