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Young Stockbridge actress appearing in “It’s a Wonderful Life”

 

 By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent 

  Faith Peavey was bitten by the acting bug at an early age.

  She was three when she saw her first live theatrical performance, the Henry Players’ production of “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.” For months after that, according to her mother, Sarabeth Peavey, she went around the house acting it out over and over.

  But that was only the beginning.

                               Special photo

    After hearing a radio commercial for a competition sponsored by Actors, Models & Talent for Christ, she told her mom, “I want to do that.” She was four.

  “I had no clue what it would be all about,” said Sarabeth.

  At the competition, Faith walked on a runway, sang a song and read a script for a commercial about a kid-friendly product. The organizers of the event were extremely impressed by the fact that she could actually read it at that age, while many of the other children were listening to someone else say the lines and then repeating them.

  While it did not lead to any immediate opportunities, it was a tremendous experience for Faith as well as her mother.

  “It taught us that there was a whole other world out there as far as the business side of it,” said Sarabeth. “We never would have pushed her to get involved in that if she hadn’t expressed an interest.”

  Since then, she has done a wide variety of work, including dance, print and television commercials, music videos, three films and more than a dozen stage productions.

  Faith has enjoyed the theater experience more than the television work, her mom said. “She loves the immediate feedback she gets from a live audience, compared to the constant retakes and other things involved in filming.”

  Not only does she thrive on performing, she is interested in all parts of theater production, including props, makeup and costumes. She has such a phenomenal memory, according to her mother, that she not only knows her own lines for her latest show, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” but she also knows all of the lines for George Bailey, the main character in the production.

  The Gypsy Theatre, based in Cumming, is staging the play at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts through Dec. 29. It is Faith’s first professional performance, so she is very excited about it.

  Sarabeth heard about the production via e-mail, and auditions were conducted at the Shakespeare Tavern in midtown Atlanta. After performing a prepared song and monologue and reading from the script for the director and assistant director, Faith was cast in the role of Zuzu Bailey.

  The differences from typical community theater were evident from the start, when they signed a contract that specified how she would be paid for her performance, as well as the stipulations connected with it. Being paid in full requires being on time to rehearsals, knowing the lines by a certain date, being responsible for costumes and other responsibilities.

  “They expect you to be professional,” said Sarabeth. “It’s a job.”

  Rehearsals began Thanksgiving week and have been virtually every night leading up to the performance. While that is intense, it is a five-week total commitment, and that has actually been preferable to Faith and her family instead of having one or two rehearsals a week for a few months.

  Faith auditioned recently for the Henry Players’ production of “A Tale Of Cinderella” which hits the stage in late February. She will begin rehearsing for that show next month.

  She is a homeschool student, and one day a week she participates in ARTIOS, a program hosted by Lake Lucerne Baptist Church in Gwinnett County. It provides programs in art, music, drama and history from a Biblical worldview.

  This year the students are studying the era from 1600 to 1850 – art and artists, music and composers, and actual events from that time period.

  Faith is a member of the drama club at ARTIOS, and in February she will portray Viola in a student production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

  Needless to say, the Peavey household is a busy one. In addition to Faith’s five-year-old sister and 13-year-old cousin who lives there – all of whom are homeschooled – there are three siblings age three and under.

  “We are always busy with something, that’s for sure,” said Sarabeth.

  Faith’s love of theater spills over to home life as well. She is constantly making up shows with her siblings, and they enjoy doing it with her most of the time, according to her mom, with one caveat:

  “They don’t always want her to be the director.”

  “It’s A Wonderful Life” is now playing at the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech. For tickets and further information, call 404-894-9600 or visit www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu.

 

 

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