Meet the Cast of the McLean Community Players’ Production of 13: Part Three: Celine Jelinski, Gabrielle Gardner, Jayne Saxon Zirkle, Olivia Kulczycky, Rachael Cranston, and Rebecca Blacksten by Laura Beth Dailey

13 is a hilarious, coming-of-age rock musical with music and lyrics by Tony-Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown and a book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn. The story centers around Evan Goldman, who must quickly establish his popularity and avoid an un-cool label amongst his middle school classmates after moving from New York City to a small town in Indiana. The cast of MCP’s production features 17 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 16, and this show will be the entire cast’s MCP debut. Part 3 of the “Meet the Cast” series introduces the female ensemble.

The cast of '13.' Photo by Irish Eyes Photography by Toby, LLC.
The cast of ’13.’ Photo by Irish Eyes Photography by Toby, LLC.

Introduce yourself, and let readers know where they may have seen you on local stages recently.

Celine Jelinski: Hi, my name is Celine Jelinski, and you may have seen in in The Secret Garden at Mclean High School.

Gabrielle Gardner: Hi, I’m Gabrielle Gardner, and you may have seen me on the current cover of LOVE, Girls Magazine, or featured in commercials, print ads, music videos, short films, feature films, and over a dozen local theatre productions.

Jayne Saxon Zirkle: Hi, I’m Jayne Saxon Zirkle. I have performed at many different dinner theatres and community theatres. My favorite roles are Baby June in Gypsy and Jo Jo in Seussical.

Olivia Kulczycky: Hi, I’m Olivia Kulczycky, and I’ve recently been in Treasure Island and Into the Woods with Sterling Playmakers.

Rachael Cranston: Hi, my name is Rachael Cranston! You may have seen me performing at George Mason last summer as Aphrodite in The Golden Apple.

Rebecca Blacksten: Hi, my name is Rebecca Blacksten. I was last seen onstage last year at Chalice Theatre’s production of Oklahoma!

How would you describe 13?

Celine: Very dramatic.

Gabrielle: A coming-of-age story from every type of kid’s point of view. It has the popular kids, the geeks, the wannabes, and so much more.

Jayne: Very high energy and FUN!

Olivia: A really upbeat and eventful show.

Rachael: A mix of all the drama teens go through into one musical.

Rebecca: 13 is a high-energy show, that’s full of vivacious characters, and is also a beautiful story.

Why did you want to be a part of 13?

Celine: When I heard about the audition, I watched 13, and the show just looked like so much fun.

Gabrielle: As a teenager, there are very few roles in a professional theatre environment. Often, there will be adults playing teens. The idea of being in a full kid cast just sounded so fun!

Jayne: I saw the show on YouTube, and a week later auditions came up for this. I thought it looked like a really fun show.

Olivia: 13 was a really good opportunity, and the show’s really fun!

Rachael: I fell in love with the show years ago!

Rebecca: I love to perform and be part of a team, and when I saw the ad for 13, I thought, “What the heck, sure I’ll audition!”

Which character in 13 is most like you and why?

Celine: I think I relate to Lucy, not the mean part of her but the jealous part.

Gabrielle: Kendra, because she is innocent and sweet.

Jayne: Cassie, Charlotte or Molly because they are normal middle school kids who like to gossip and have fun!

Olivia: Kendra because I don’t always see what other people are plotting.

Rachael: Patrice because I always try to help other people find their way, and I can’t stay mad at people for a long time without feeling guilty.

Rebecca: I’m a bit of a mix between Patrice and Evan. I’m a bit bookish and don’t really hang out with the, “cool kids”, but I enjoy my friends, like Patrice. I also relate to Evan, since he is a bit misguided on some topics, but in the end, sorts himself out.

What is your favorite song in 13 and why?

Celine: I really like “What It Means to Be a Friend” because I can relate to the lyrics.

Gabrielle: “Hey Kendra”. It’s super funny and Alex (Eddie) is hilarious to watch!

Jayne: “It Can’t Be True” because it pretty much sums up what middle school is supposed to be about.

Olivia: “What It Means to Be a Friend” because it’s really pretty, sad and sweet.

Rachael: “What It Means to Be a Friend” even though all of the songs are great!

Rebecca: “If That’s What It Is” since the message is great, and it is a true song, pulling something from everyone who listens to it.

What is your favorite scene in 13 that you are not on stage for?

Celine: I like the bathroom scene because of how funny it is.

Gabrielle: “Getting Ready”, particularly the part with Kendra and Lucy.

Jayne: “Bad Bad News” because it is a high energy, funny number.

Olivia: I love the scene after the movie where Patrice is yelling at Evan because it’s intense.

Rachael: The scene where Kendra and Lucy are introduced to the audience.

Rebecca: Probably the scene where Brett is relaying the information he just got from Patrice and Evan, messes it up, and then just states his feelings. I laugh and smile every time!

What have you learned about yourself as a performer during this experience?

Celine: I have learned how to be more confident.

Gabrielle: Words cannot describe how much I have grown while in this show. Who knew that this cast and crew could push me to do things that I didn’t even know that I could do. I learned that if I stop doubting myself then I can accomplish more than I ever dreamed I could.

Jayne: It’s my first time being in the ensemble, and I now I understand why people say that ensemble parts are the hardest parts they have had.

Olivia: Trust myself more.

Rachael: If I relax, I can be more confident on stage.

Rebecca: I discovered that I can relate to other actors and actresses more than I thought was possible. I also learned that you can have friends at all different ages.

What do you think the message of 13 is?

Celine: Be who you are, and your friends will come.

Gabrielle: You should not care about what people think, and do what makes YOU happy.

Olivia: Having really popular friends isn’t the most important thing in life, and having trustworthy, loyal friends is better.

Jayne: Life is tough sometimes. However, it will all work out in the end, and it does not really matter.

Rachael: It doesn’t matter how popular you are.

Rebecca: You may want something, but you actually need something completely different. You need to look on the inside to see what counts.

The cast of '13.' Photo by Irish Eyes Photography by Toby, LLC.
The cast of ’13.’ Photo by Irish Eyes Photography by Toby, LLC.

Why should theatregoers come see this production, and what makes it so unique and special?

Celine: Come see 13 because it is unlike any other show.

Gabrielle: 13 is unlike anything in the DC area this season. Every kid in this cast has something special and unique, and we can’t wait to share our special talents with you!

Jayne: Much more than meets the eye! Classic musical done with a modern twist.

Olivia: It is a really energetic musical!!

Rachael: 13 has a great message and it is very entertaining and well put together!

Rebecca: This production is amazing and shows the flair of 17 different cast members as well as an epic production team. This show is unique since it has such a relatable story-line and a hilarious plot.


13 plays through February 15, 2015 at McLean Community Players performing at the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre – 1234 Ingleside Avenue in McLean, VA.  For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.

Running Time: Two hours, including one intermission.

Review of 13 on DCMetroTheaterArts by Terry Byrne.

Meet the Cast of the McLean Community Players’ Production of ’13′: Part One: Bailey Drew, Cuinn Casey, Izzy Gaskill, John Ray, and Tori Garcia by Laura Beth Dailey.

Meet the Cast of the McLean Community Players’ Production of ’13′: Part Two: Alex Weinstein, Brett Hungar, Cole Sitilides, Ryan Selig, Will Hemmingson, and Winston Oughourli by Laura Beth Dailey.


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