Character Creation: Sarah Charles Lewis Reveals How She Created Tuck Everlasting's Winnie Foster
May 25th, 2016
by Josh Ferri
Atlanta native Sarah Charles Lewis makes her Broadway debut leading the musical adaptation of the classic novel Tuck Everlasting. Lewis plays Winnie Foster, the young girl whose world is turned upside down when she discovers the immortal Tuck family and must decide if she wants to drink the magical water and join them for eternity.
The young star talked with BroadwayBox about how she brought Winnie Foster from the pages of Natalie Babbitt's book to the stage of the Broadhurst Theatre.
During the audition process of the world premiere in Atlanta, I read the book to get deeper into my character and figure out who Winnie Foster is and what her character traits are. When I read the book Natalie Babbitt painted pictures in your mind. It was incredible. After that I watched the movie, and the movie is Disneyfied. Winnie is much older than she is in the book, but many of the character traits are the same—and I kind of combined the two for the musical Winnie Foster.
“To live life to its fullest. Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of not truly being alive. You don’t need to live forever, you just need to live.” That is a powerful quote from the book. Winnie is the kind of kid that can do whatever she can to go on an adventure. I think she wants to drink the water until she goes on the row boat with Pa, and he explains the circle of life and why you shouldn’t drink the water. In the show, she has the song “Everlasting” and it shows a not-so-bubbly-self of Winnie. It makes her very serious as she decides this HUGE decision.
After the world premiere in Atlanta, I got to meet Natalie Babbitt and we discussed Winnie’s personality and who she was. It was incredible. It helped me in so many ways. What made me really happy was I asked her, ‘Am I what you imagined Winnie to be?’ And she said, ‘You are beyond what I imagined.’ That just blew my mind away. That made me feel like I was doing it right.
Learning technique from Casey [Nicholaw] was amazing. He gave me direction on how to build Winnie’s character. One of the things Casey would always talk about is so many kids are trying to act, and he always helped me to just be me. Casey would say, ‘Sarah, be you; you are Winnie Foster.’ She’s like any kid who dreams of going on an adventure.
Hurry to the Broadhurst Theatre before May 29 to see Sarah Charles Lewis in Tuck Everlasting.