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By: Casey Phillips
Photo by Laura-Chase McGehee
Chattanooga Times Free Press
December 14, 2010

 

It didn’t take Alex Griffith long to fall in love with acting. Just a year after taking the stage for the first time, Alex, 12, has already decided acting is what he wants to do for life. “I get a thrill out of acting,” Alex said. “Once you start, if you like it enough, you can’t stop. You just want to keep doing it more and more.”

 

Alex said he was already head over heels last December before he finished his first performance as the Ghost of Christmas Past in the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol.”

Although Alex first auditioned for the role of Tiny Tim, Theatre Centre producing director George Quick said he was so impressed he decided to cast him in a larger role. The Ghost was a more involving part, especially for an untried actor, but Quick said he was confident in Alex’s abilities.

“I was amazingly impressed with him, right from the get-go, because of the fact that he, quite fearlessly, jumped in and did what was asked of him,” Quick said. “He has an innate talent and understanding that is a little beyond his years for things like style and accent and character motivation.”

After aiding Ebenezer Scrooge’s change of heart, Alex returned to the Chattanooga Theatre Centre stage in February as Si Crowell in a production of Thornton’s Wilder’s play “Our Town.” This summer, he took on his first leading role as Jess Aarons in the Theatre Centre production of “Bridge to Terabithia.”

Alex also recently began exploring a new artistic path as a party boy in Chattanooga Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” Although he’s not a fan of wearing tights or dancing, he said he appreciated the chance to broaden his horizons. “It’s definitely good to get the experience,” he said. “That’s giving me the experience for anything I would need to be in a big play in a major role.”

Alex’s father and mother, Rick Griffith and Donna Griffith, have used his involvement in the arts as a way to bring the family closer together. Rick Griffith has helped build stage props for original scripts Alex began writing last year, and both he and Alex’s mother regularly volunteer at the Theatre Centre.

Even after seeing his son take the stage more than a dozen times in “Bridge to Terabithia,” Rick Griffith said he wasn’t alone in being moved by his son’s performance. “He brought me to tears several times,” Griffith said. “I’m getting teared up now just thinking about it. Just watching him and the way he’s grown in such a short time and having a God-given talent — the fact that he acknowledges that is a big deal for me.”

 

Copyright ©2010, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc

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