Evan Wallace finds there’s nothing more fun than portraying an over-the-top villain character.
The Indianapolis resident portrays Miss Agatha Trunchbull, the cruel and sadistic principal, in the Civic Theater’s production of “Matilda, The Musical” from April 29-May 13 at Tarkington at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.
“I’m having the best time of my life being horrible to kids,” Wallace said. “I work in social work, so I’m a commissioned (abuse) reporter, so I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately. It’s a blast and a half.
Wallace said Trunchbull was traditionally played by a man in the musical.
“It’s kind of ironic,” said Wallace, who will have to shave his beard before performances. “Who doesn’t love a villain? I like big, wide characters. I was Edna in “Hairspray”. I did the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. The bigger the character, the more interested I am. Agatha is about as big as they come.
Like Wallace, Zionsville resident Mikayla Koharchik loves playing Mrs. Wormwood, whom Koharchik describes as Matilda’s “mean, awful mother.”
“It’s a lot of fun playing the comedic villain and being someone you’re not usually in real life,” Koharchik said. “She hates books and learning, and I’m an educator.”
Koharchik said learning the role, she thought it would be fun.
“I love working with children,” Koharchik said. “I think it’s fun to be on a show with kids. I like to make shows that I think my own kids would like to watch.
Carmel Middle School sixth-grader Lexie Vahrenkamp plays Matilda Wormwood.
“It’s really fun to play the part too,” Vahrenkamp said. “I listen to the music a lot because I loved the soundtrack of the musical. I saw the movie, but I feel like the musical is different from that.
Vahrenkamp, 12, also read Roald Dahl’s book. In the book, Matilda is supposed to be 5 years old, but is advanced for her age.
“I’m much more experienced now than I was 10 years old,” Vahrenkamp said.
Vahrenkamp rarely leaves the stage.
“It’s so much fun you don’t even notice it’s difficult,” she said.
Carmel resident Julia Bonnett, director of development and administration for the Civic Theater, plays Matilda’s teacher, Miss Honey.
“She and the librarian, Mrs. Phelps, are Matilda’s refuge from the madness that happens at home and the madness that happens at school,” said Bonnett, a 2009 Carmel High School graduate. Anytime she’s with Miss Honey or Mrs. Phelps, it’s peaceful for her.”
Bonnett appears in her first show at Civic since her performance in “Little Women” in 2015.
Wallace, Bonnett, Vahrenkamp and Koharchik were all scheduled to perform at “Matilda” when it closed after three weeks of rehearsals in mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bonnett said about half of the cast returned.
Several previous attempts to reschedule the show had failed.
“It was crazy from a staff member’s perspective to see him on the other side,” Bonnett said. “All the times we tried to put the show together and all the times we couldn’t, so to be at this point is exciting because I think we’re finally going to be able to do it. is beautiful. Everyone, especially those who were there two years ago, are really excited to finally see it.
Koharchik said the cast been “pretty disappointed in 2020, but great to have him back.”
To learn more, visit civictheatre.org.