Animals Shouldn’t Work With Live Actors

In the world of acting, there’s a saying: “Never work with children or live animals.”

The idea is that kids and animals are unpredictable, temperamental, and often don’t take direction well, which makes them difficult to work with.

On the other hand, adult human actors are unpredictable, temperamental, and SOMETIMES don’t take direction well.

You see the difference?

Encore!Encore! has performed plays in the past that call for dogs. In those cases, we’ve always cast local talent, Lucky the Stuffed Yorkie.

But this year, for Encore!Encore!’s production of the musical comedy Suite Surrender, we decided to go all out and cast a real, live dog.

Why, you may ask, would we cast a live dog?

The simple answer is hubris (defined as dangerous overconfidence that often leads to ones own destruction.) Also, we found a really cute dog.

Ema the Yorkie is a native of Fort Collins and long-time theater fan, having attended several productions with her best friend, Marge. Ema’s always wanted to try her hand at acting. After a chance meeting with Encore!Encore!’s director, Ema decided to take a leap and audition for Suite Surrender. Turns out, she’s a natural!

Ema takes some notes from Cindy, the director.

“Ema takes some notes from Cindy, the director.”

We’re about halfway through our rehearsal period (which means tickets are available at now!). Ema has attended several rehearsals and has been the consummate professional and a joy to work with throughout all of it. She already has all of her entrances and exits down perfectly and she has all of her lines memorized.

Sure, the human actors are doing pretty good, too, but I have noticed they’re not as adorable when they’re on stage as Ema effortlessly manages to be.

Yet, Ema’s patience with the other actors is unending. She’s always willing to lend them an ear, as long as they’re willing to scratch it.

“Scott and Ema sharing a script as they rehearse a scene.”

Which is what made me realize that maybe live animals aren’t the actual problem. Maybe it’s live actors. Unfortunately, the rest of our production team didn’t get on board with my idea of firing all the human actors and instead making the whole cast adorable dogs. You’ll have to come judge for yourself if keeping the human actors was the right call. Get your tickets today!

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