April 18, 2019
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Sesame Street Live cast member talks about high-energy performance, characters coming to Bangor

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
Rachel Dorr

Family audiences in Bangor will get two chances to catch the high-energy dance party of the Sesame Street Live production, “Let’s Dance!” — an exciting opportunity for audience members to see the characters they already know and love in an interactive way.

“[The show] is such high energy, and it’s all about the audience and the characters interacting,” said Rachel Dorr, a Sesame Street Live cast member. “It’s an awesome experience to get to see the characters that you’ve grown up with in an up close and personal setting.”

The theater-style production features all of Sesame Street’s beloved characters, from Elmo to Big Bird and even the dynamic duo, Bert and Ernie. With a cast of professional dancers and performers, this Sesame Street Live production aims to get the entire family up, dancing and singing.

The performance is in the second month of its nationwide tour, with dates scheduled at the Cross Insurance Center for Oct. 14 and 15. Earlier this week, another Sesame Street Live production, “Make a New Friend,” performed three shows at the same venue.

Dorr, who plays both the characters Ernie and Baby Bear, said that live theater allows for a fun and versatile audience experience, especially since the entire “Let’s Dance!” storyline is focused around audience interaction.

“Everybody’s having fun because it’s not just us on the stage dancing and performing for them,” she said. “It’s that plus us interacting with them and dancing with them. … [At each show] there are different kids to dance with, and they’re doing different things. … It’s different every time.”

The mass appeal of this production, according to Dorr, is that while the performance actually is all fun and games, there is always something to learn from the characters of Sesame Street Live. In “Let’s Dance!,” an overarching theme is expressing and accepting yourself as an individual through activities such as dancing.

“There’s always something to learn as well as be entertained. … My favorite message that our show conveys is that dancing is a great way to express [oneself],” said Dorr, who received a professional education in jazz dance.

Other moral lessons conveyed through entertainment in the production are themes of cooperation, sharing and working together.

Dorr said she enjoys the touring aspect of Sesame Street Live and believes it to be beneficial to the onstage performances the cast puts out.

“We’re like a little family. … We all hang out together, we all go out to dinner, we do a lot of different fun things together. … You get to know each other. Everybody is really great in our cast. There’s really good chemistry,” said Dorr.

Sesame Street Live is Dorr’s first show as a professional performer, which she says has been a learning experience that will shape the rest of her career. Being trained as a professional dancer did not naturally lend it’s hand to acting, however, performing as her Sesame Street characters is beginning to shape the young performer’s aspirations.

“Learning how to portray a specific character has been an awesome experience for me as a performer,” said Dorr. “From here on out, I love the acting element. Portraying a specific character is very rewarding, more than I was expecting it to be.”


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