Fred and Connor Bray have taken the stage together before.
The father and son shared the role of Scrooge in Valley Theater Company’s A Christmas Carol a couple of years ago.
Fred, a fourth-grade teacher at Prosser Heights Elementary School, played the older version of the iconic character, while Connor — now an 18-year-old senior at Prosser High — played him in his younger years.
At one point, the father and son had to say lines at the same time.
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“From the very first day, we were just in sync,” Connor said.
“We were right on — the same inflections, same arm gestures. Everything,” Fred added.
Audiences will be able to witness that same rapport later this month. The Brays are starring in the theater company’s production of 33 Variations, a Tony Award-nominated play by Moisés Kaufman.
Opening night is April 24.
In 33 Variations, “musicologist Katherine Brandt attempts to uncover the motivation behind Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, a series of 33 variations on an ordinary waltz by a composer that Beethoven felt was beneath him,” a news release said. The play is set both in Beethoven’s era and in modern day.
Fred Bray plays the composer Anton Diabelli and Connor Bray takes on the role of Anton Schindler, Beethoven’s right-hand man. Candace Andrews, Christina Humann, Richard Reuther, SueEllen Davis and Braydon Smith round out the cast.
Fred and Connor Bray both said the play is uplifting, although it deals with heavy topics, including serious illness.
It has its sad moments, but big laughs too, Fred Bray said.
“It’s like life — you have your serious bits, your funny bits. It’s something I think a lot of people will enjoy,” Connor said.
Father and son saw the play a few years back while in Seattle with Prosser High’s drama club. They both loved it and hoped to one day see it staged in the valley. When Valley Theater Company announced the play would be part of the current season, “I was so excited. I was looking forward to it all year,” Connor said.
The local production will feature live music by pianist Patricia Schlotfeldt.
Rick James and Cyndil Davis are directing, and Patty Cook is the producer.
Fred Bray said it’s special to share the stage with his son. Connor is a local theater veteran, having performed in numerous productions over the years. He’s serious about acting and intends to pursue it as a career.
“The different roles he’s taken on in different plays — he just does a great job. I’m very proud of him,” Fred Bray said.
He added that in 33 Variations, Connor has “really stepped up” in a complicated role.
Connor said he likes working with his dad. They can talk about their characters, bounce ideas off each other. “You have somebody who understands everything. You don’t have to explain yourself.”
Performances are April 24-25 and May 1-2 at the Princess Theatre in Prosser. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m.
33 Variations is Valley Theater Company’s 100th production since it was founded in 1961. A complimentary dessert will follow each performance to mark the milestone.
Tickets to the play cost $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors 65 and older.
They’re available at Adventures Underground in Richland, Sixth Street Art Gallery in Prosser, Bleyhl Farm Service Inc. in Grandview, Mélange in Sunnyside and Patnode’s True Value Hardware in Benton City.
The Princess Theatre’s Green Room opens an hour before each performance, with local wine and microbrews available by the glass.
The theater is at 1228 Meade Ave. For more information, go to www.ThePrincessTheatre.net.