The Disney Princess Zoom Call is a show featuring five Disney princesses living their best quarantine lives in 2020. Starring Tori Baird, Alicia K. Garcia, Stephanie Rae, Lauren Ross, and Katerina Smith, the Disney Princess Zoom Call will take place on Thursday, December 10 in the 7:00 p.m. EST show block at the 2020 Very Normal Festival. In this spotlight interview, Tori Baird talks about the challenges inherent in playing such well-known characters, the upside of Zoom performances, and whether or not she thinks Disney villains *also* have a regular Zoom call.
The conceit of your show is so fun! Do you think it also poses an interesting challenge for the cast as actors, in terms of how to bring something new to these well-known roles? What are some ways in which you’re working to meet that challenge?
Absolutely! There were some tropes that were just too fun not to play with, but as a whole we really tried to focus on a grounded personification of these classic characters. The question was always “What would Snow White do in 2020 on a zoom call” and then expanding on that, instead of “what is a stereotype of this character.” The goal with our comedy is always smart and witty so that made diving into these story book characters a delightful experience! It really all stems from treating them like real people. My question was always how human can we make them while still keeping the magic alive. The end result is a bunch of princesses who bicker and love and have pet peeves and inside jokes all while still singing a merry little tune.
Was it difficult to determine which Disney princesses to include and which to omit from the show? Are there any princesses that you wish you’d been able to include that just didn’t make the cut?
So difficult! If we had it our way there would be a nod to every princess! I (Tori) personally would have LOVED to see how Rapunzel was handling a SECOND quarantine in her kingdom of Corona. But at the end of the day we had to come back to “what story are we telling and which characters tell that best.” Who knows though, maybe a spinoff is in the works!
Do you think that the Disney villains also have a regular group zoom call? If so, who do you think organizes it; who’s the “funny” one; who constantly forgets to unmute themselves; and which villain is the butt of all the other villains’ jokes?
Oh they DEFINITELY do. They heard about the princesses call and got jealous so Malfecient organized a group call. Captain Hook always has trouble with the mute buttons for obvious reasons and Hades roasts him endlessly about it. But they can never get everyone in the same room, bad RSVP etiquette.
We’re roughly nine months into this new Zoom world. Have you found anything that you *prefer* about Zoom/online performance to live theater? What, if anything, will you miss about Zoomprov when the world reopens and we can all do this in person again?
I think if done right it can create a really intimate focused environment for performers and the audience without some of the distractions of live venues. That being said, there’s nothing quite like a in person show and we are all so excited to see everyone’s faces when it’s safe!
Finally — we are contractually obligated to ask this question — on an ascending scale from 1 to 10, how normal is your show and why?
Definitely 10 very normal. Just gals being pals. What could be more normal than that?