There Are No Small Parts . . . Cher Desiree Àlvarez

Posted August 22, 2018

No Small Parts Cher

By Gwendolyn Rice | August 21, 2018

There's something wonderful about big, ensemble shows. Intense, two person dramas are great, but sometimes you just want to see an entire stage filled with people—a whole community interacting. These plays are also a boon for actors because there are more opportunities to get cast, and you can learn a lot from being part of a large company. But they are also a drag, because someone still gets the lead and someone still has to play the villager, a part that may have little stage time, no lines, and not much to do. 

When I was cast as Villager #7 in my youth, our director dragged out the old axiom "There are no small parts, only small actors," which didn't console me for a second. But as I got older I understood what she meant. And now I often judge the quality of a large production by how good the supporting characters are. If Shopkeeper and Shopkeeper's Wife are giving it their all even though they don't get the spotlight, that's an amazing ensemble. 

Reviewers often don't have the luxury of recognizing a great actor in a crowd scene because there are so many other things to cover, and not that much space on the page. So I wanted to give a specific shout-out here to an extremely impressive actress filling several small parts this summer at American Players Theatre: Cher Desiree Àlvarez. 

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