Moo-ving story invades RiverCenter

Rebecca Chicoine and Philip Jackson Smith star in “Click, Clack, Moo,” a traveling children’s show that comes to the RiverCenter Friday.

The stars of the show are cows who are standing up for themselves by going on strike.

Chicoine plays Maddie and Smith plays Loretta. Both cows have typing skills. The cows drive Farmer Brown crazy with their clicking and clacking all night long, typing their demands to end the strike.

Kids and cows

Chicoine said it can be challenging to play an animal.

“We personalize the cows, and we made them our own characters.”

Smith agreed. “It’s about letting go,” he said, so kids can see “the world we create.”

It can also be challenging to perform for kids.

Children tend to let actors know exactly how they feel. When they’re engaged, they’ll laugh and respond and if they get bored, they’ll either turn quiet or become rowdy.

“There’s no going back (with young audiences),” Smith said. “I think it’s great. They are the most honest audience.”

If an actor asks a question, the kids will yell back the answer.

For example, when Farmer Brown asks, “Why won’t the cows give me milk?” the audience will tell Farmer Brown what do do. “Just be nice,” kids will scream.

Chicoine said she loves the show.

“It’s really fun and really light-hearted. It’s nice, fun and upbeat.”

Doing this show is the first road experience for both Chicoine and Smith. Besides performing, they have to set up, tear down and pack up the set at each new location.

“Right now, at 22, I’m loving it,” Smith said, but he suspects that 15 years from now, he’ll want something different.

When their contracts are up at the end of June, they’ll go back to New York to audition for shows. Both work for catering companies when they’re not acting.

In five years, Chicoine hopes to be on Broadway.

Smith has a different goal. “I want to be paying my bills by only acting,” he said. “I don’t want to have a temp job. I want my life taken care of by my working artistically either on Broadway or television or film or commercials. That’s success.

“They say there are 91,000 people who call themselves actors in New York. Only 2,000 of them at any one time are working as actors.”

Both hope to count themselves in the working-actor category.

Related stories from Columbus Ledger-Enquirer