As the World Turns cast members reunite online

Soap opera stars reunite through conferencing software and entertain fans.

Alan Locher, who served as the publicist for As the World Turns from 2003 until 2004, has been working to reunite the stars from that soap opera along with Guiding Light while they, like most of us, are social distancing and in our homes. Last week covered the As the World Turns casts’ first reunion, and we were eager to see who he had brought in for the second. Joining Locher was Terri Conn (Katie Peretti, and Christine “Aubrey Wentworth” Karr on One Life to Live), Ellen Dolan (Margo Hughes, and Maureen Reardon on Guiding Light as well as Jeannie Halperin on Texas), Colleen Zenk (Barbara Ryan) and Trent Dawson (Henry Coleman, and Huxley Lynch on General Hospital). Conn’s husband Austin Peck (Austin Reed on Days of our Lives, Brad Snyder on As the World Turns, and Rick Powers on One Life to Live) joined in the show later after he had finished mowing their lawn. Locher had hoped to have Scott Bryce (Craig Montgomery, and Dr. Crosby on One Life to Live) on, but he was suffering from a headache and couldn’t make it.

The cast shared various stories with the fans, and also caught up with one another. Zenk is hunkered down in her home in Florida and doesn’t get out other than to walk her dog Boo, who was the center of a trivia question. Zenk wondered if anyone knew why she named her Boo, and it was because that was Kathryn Hays (Kim Hughes) nickname for her. Dolan joked she’s adjusting well to the times because she’s been living in a basement for years as is. Conn is not only busy homeschooling her two girls Morgan and Keira, but is still actively working on QVC. Dawson said he’s been watching Tiger King, though Zenk and Dolan haven’t been able to get into the Netflix phenomenon.

More: Guiding Light cast reminisces about the classic soap

Asked if they remembered their first day, Zenk simply recalled her first week. She was not the first to play Barbara, who had been off-screen for years when she was cast in the role. She spent most of her first week apologizing to everyone on the show for the horrible things the other Barbaras had done to them. She was fresh from musical theater and recalled in a scene with Don Hastings (Bob Hughes) in which she worked up the tears to apologize to him, only for him to tell her to wait for the red light on the camera before starting. Dawson also came from a theater background and was used to projecting his voice and had to be told to tone it down. Conn couldn’t recall much other than she had two scenes with Dolan that on-air lasted all of a few minutes, but in reality, took forty-five minutes to shoot.

When questioned if anyone had anything from the set the actors were eager to share what they had purchased after the show closed. Zenk has the chandelier that hung in The Metro nightclub. Conn has the Snyder kitchen table, but admits to having painted it black. She also bought a chair from the Lakeview Lounge, which she indicated is badly in need of being reupholstered. Dolan has the three crystal balls that sat in Conn’s living room for years. Zenk also has the hand sculpture that was a fixture on Barbara’s coffee table, as well as a plaque from the mausoleum. Dawson also took things from the set, but said between his cats and his children, most had been destroyed. However he still has a lot of Henry’s clothes in his closet, and notes while they were incredible, he quickly realized he couldn’t actually wear them anywhere in public because of how outlandish some were.

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Zenk was asked about working with Anthony Herrera (James Stenbeck). She said they actually met on the plane when they were flying to shoot location scenes, and became very good friends off-camera. However, he drove her nuts because right before every take he would jump up and down to give himself energy. She also remembered the infamous bull ring scene was difficult to shoot because while it was in a real bull ring, there had been a recent huge snowstorm. Not only was it freezing, but the ring had to be dug out and in some areas there were two inches of ice on the ground.

In tackling some of their toughest storylines, Dolan recalled her character’s rape was incredibly hard to shoot. Dawson found it a challenge when his and Conn’s characters moved from being friends for five years to lovers, and he wanted to do the story and characters justice. Zenk’s biggest challenge was the church fire storyline and losing her and John Dixon’s (Larry Bryggman) baby. The boathouse explosion was also challenging because for an entire year she was in special effects make-up due to her face being scared in the fire.

They were also asked about what they have been up to. Dawson recently filmed a short movie The Six based on a play he wrote, which was making the rounds of festival circuits before everything shut down. Dolan is also working with two producers on a pilot, but can’t discuss it much until it is hopefully is picked up by a network.

Locher is hoping to get in touch with more stars to hold another reunion in the near future.

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