Let the Make-Believe In: UF Professor Charlie Mitchell in “The Legend of Georgia McBride”
By Daniela Esteves
Charlie Mitchell’s mom wanted her family to be cultured. With two musicians as siblings, Mitchell had only one choice to be different: theatre.
Like Casey in “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” Mitchell fell in love with the make-believe. He fell in love with the theatre’s feedback loop between actor and audience and the thrill each performance never turning out the same.
Mitchell performed through high school, where his passion grew and led him to decide it was the career for him. He completed his BFA in actor training at Ithaca College, studied playwriting at Boston University and earned his doctorate from the University of Colorado.
As a theatre professor at the University of Florida and Hippodrome State Theatre company member, Mitchell tries to be evangelical in his lessons and strives to teach his students to let the make-believe into their own lives.
Mitchell has played in Hipp favorites such as “Hamlet” and “Hand to God.” Mitchell’s current role in the Hippodrome’s production of “The Legend of Georgia McBride” as Eddie, owner of Cleo’s, a run-down, small-town Florida bar, whose love of money leads him to embrace family back into his life. Mitchell enjoys portraying the growth of his character as well as his devoted and loyal personality.
He believes the show’s themes of family, acceptance, and camaraderie is why people should come see it.
“After the Nazis come to town, people need a place to feel good,” he said, referring to the recent hosting and wildly abhorred Richard Spencer event on University of Florida campus.
Mitchell admitted this production has made him teary-eyed multiple times backstage.
The bond between the cast and backstage crew is what has made this production so special for him, he said. He’ll never forget the countless hours of eyelash rehearsals. (Yes, eyelash rehearsals are a thing, and our actors kill it!)
In it’s last runs, the play still makes him laugh, he said. It’s clever playwriting with hilarious one-liners but doesn’t shy away from emotional truth, which is why the show is so relevant and powerful.
Make your reservations quick by calling 352-375-4477 or visiting thehipp.org/georgiamcbridetickets to grab up the last seats!