Sister Act: Carmel Valley siblings take on play
Sisters Julianna and Jennessa Rose are always ready to take center stage.
The pair of Carmel Valley actresses perform in professional theater productions and are enjoying a successful career in Los Angeles, doing voice-over work for TV and film, and occasionally getting in front of the camera.
Locally, the sisters star in “Yo Ho Ho! A Pirate’s Christmas” at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, Dec. 6 and 7.
While the play is only showing one weekend in San Diego, the girls will appear in the show for a month for its Los Angeles run.
Jennessa, a 10-year-old fifth grader at Solana Pacific, has one of the lead roles as Eve Christmas, a young tomboy elf trying to save Christmas from a crew of rowdy pirates.
Julianna, a 14-year-old freshman at Torrey Pines, plays Eve’s older sister Noelle Christmas, a hip, “Madonna-ish” elf, who helps fight off the pirates.
Mom Deb Berger said the play is a great show for families as it mixes a traditional holiday show with a lot of action. Characters interact with the audience, and pirates perform stunts on trampolines and chase elves through the aisles.
Julianna has been acting for about eight years in plays like “Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Old Globe Theatre and in the “American Girl Revue” at American Girl Place in Los Angeles.
One of her favorite roles was playing Annie in Poway’s BB Players production of “Annie.”
In addition to acting in plays, Julianna recently appeared on the Disney Channel’s “The 3 Minute Game Show” and “iCarly.” She also did voice work in a dramatic episode of TV’s “Jericho” as the voice of a girl trapped in a house fire.
“I just love playing different characters, it’s really cool being someone that you’re not,” Julianna said. “I also love being on set, meeting people and getting all done up in hair and makeup.”
This is only Jennessa’s second professional play after playing Marta in Tustin’s Curtain Call Dinner Theatre’s “Sound of Music” this summer.
Jennessa has been acting for four years, doing voice-over work for films like “Four Christmases,” “Enchanted,” “Happy Feet” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”
She also voiced Aranea the baby spider in the 2006 version of “Charlotte’s Web.”
Recently, she appeared on the Disney Channel’s “3 Minute Game Show” which she said surprised her fellow classmates when they saw it.
“I’m terrible at sports so this is basically my sport,” Jennessa of acting said.
Eve Christmas is her favorite role yet. She sings two solos and has fun interacting with the audience.
She also admits it’s one of the “hottest roles” she’s ever played. She spends the whole play in a warm pajama onesie with a winter coat.
Both sisters say their goal is simply to keep on working. While being famous would be nice, Jennessa said, they will settle for continuing to do what they love.
If you go:
- ‘Yo Ho Ho! A Pirate’s Christmas’
- Saturday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- California Center for the Arts, 340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido
- For tickets visit,