To say an ensemble member does not give their all during a show would be a disservice to most ensemble players. To say it about Meredith Stone, in particular, would be a complete fabrication. During the roughly ninety minutes of Ephrata Performing Arts Center’s presentation of Green Day’s American Idiot, Meredith does it all; she sings, dances and rages herself almost to the point of collapsing.
The show, which runs now through August 6, 2016, is essentially a non-stop thrill ride, carried ably by a large ensemble, an intricate and integral aspect to every minute of the performance.
To quote Stone, “It is exhausting. The ensemble in any show really helps drive it forward, and especially in this show.” She continues, “Everyone gives their all, for the whole show, every single night.”
While this is not her first show ever with EPAC (in fact, it is roughly her tenth), this is a show which certainly resonates within her. “I remember how angry and disillusioned I was at that time,” she says. “It felt like everything was crashing down. I cannot help but get lost in the performance and in this music, as [the American Idiot album] was seminal for me when I was a sophomore in college.”
As we discuss the show and other parts of her life, Meredith enjoys an Old Fashioned prepared artfully by Kelly Kapinos, co-owner of Reflections Restaurant. As a self-professed whiskey girl, Meredith comments that this particular Old Fashioned is “absolutely perfect!”
Lest you assume that Stone is all about “the rage” of American Idiot, understand that when she is not performing or enjoying an Old Fashioned at nighttime, she is a Veterinary Technician by day. The varied duties of the job are, according to her, less about cuddling animals all day which people tend to assume. “That is a small part of the career,” she says, “and definitely the best part.” Meredith explains that Veterinary Technicians, in the animal world, equate to the Registered Nurses of the animal world as they do everything necessary for their sweet animal patients in need.
As Meredith puts it, she is cuddly all day and raging all night. “That’s why I drink Old Fashioned’s!”
Make sure you get out to EPAC by August 6th to see Stone and the rest of the incredible cast, the “Kids of War and Peace,” according to Green Day’s lyrics. It is an excellent show and an exciting way to spend your evening.
As we wrap up our conversation with Meredith, we both realize that American Idiot, with its heavy political overtones, is happening at the perfect time in modern political history. But we decided to ask her the “big question” anyways.
Dogs? Or cats?
“Definitely cats,” she says. “Not by much, though. It’s a pretty even split.”