Actor Bios

The Cast of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol – Winter 2014

Jonathon Idman (Scrooge) is happy to be back performing at the Academy with familiar faces, revising his earlier role. He delights in expressing his inner Scrooge, albeit in a safe and appropriate forum.

Matthew McClure (The Recordkeeperhas just realized being asked to write his bio for the program means he’s hit the big time. A relative newcomer to The Academy, Matt recently returned from a long hiatus from theater with roles in Cabaret (Cliff Bradshaw) and The Addams Family Musical (Lucas Beineke). He appreciates the chance to work with a script as lovely as this one, though he is still waiting for the vocal score to arrive in the mail. Matt thanks his parents for their support and the cast and crew for making this such an enjoyable jaunt through Purgatory.

Jefferson C. Post (The Bogle) studied acting at Connecticut College with a semester abroad at the Moscow Art Theater. Shows at the Academy include, but are not limited to, Little Shop of Horrors, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Producers, and Young Frankenstein. Most recently he played Milt in Laughter on the 23rd Floor.

Rick Smith (Jacob Marley) has been involved at The Academy for over 30 years. Some recent roles include Elyot Chase in Private Lives and Ernst Ludwig in Cabaret. He has musically directed and accompanied numerous shows as well. He is very thankful for the opportunity to revisit his favorite script, wishing the cast and crew a great run. He hope you enjoy this show as much as we do. Thanks to Speedo and Rebecca for the support.

 

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The Cast of Les Miserables – Summer 2014

Alexander Perry ~ Jean Valjean
After a 23 year absence Alex decided to ease back on to the stage as Sheriff Heck Tate in To Kill A Mockingbird in the spring of 2012 here at the APA. He decided to get involved to spend more time with his 13 year old son Cole Perry who has taken an interest in acting and also performs here at the Academy. Alex performed as the villainous Bill Sykes in the Academy’s production of Oliver, and as the King in The King and I. He performed in the APA’s blockbuster hit Les Miserables last summer as Jean Valjean and has the honor of reprising the role again this year. He is once again joined by his son Cole, who is now 15. He would like to give special thanks to his loving wife Yoe for all of her support.

Dan Rabold ~ Javert
Dan made his theatrical debut last summer as Javert in Les Misérables at the APA. This past winter he was Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods at HJT.  Dan’s background is as a singer. He has recorded albums with 2 a cappella groups, the Bowdoin College Meddiebempsters and the Guys with Ties. He has sung with the Seattle Symphony Chorale, the Chorale Arts Society of Portland, Maine and the Chatham Chorale and Chamber Singers (where he met his wife Jennifer).  He is thrilled at the opportunity to play Javert again with this amazing cast!

Mimi Robinson ~ Eponine
Mimi is a rising First Year at the University of Virginia, where she will be pursuing degrees in Drama and English. Credits include: a principle soloist in A Tribute to the Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein & Andrew Lloyd Webber, Grace Farrell in Annie, Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Miss Jones in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Mayzie in Seussical, Maria Merelli in Lend Me a Tenor, Lizzie Curry in 110 in the Shade, and she appeared in her dream role as Éponine in Les Misérables last summer with the APA. She is beyond thrilled to be reunited with her Les Mis family, and to have the opportunity to portray Éponine for a second time.

Terrence Brady  ~ Monsieur Thenardier
Terrence is thrilled to be back with the Les Mis cast again this summer! Previous roles for Terrence have included: Tony in West Side Story and Danny Zuko in Grease. Terrence studied Voice and Performance Arts at Bridgewater State University; While at BSU he was Curley in Oklahoma and Enoch Snow in Carousel.  Terrence was a member of the BSU Chamber Singers Touring Troupe, has worked on Mayflower II as 17th Century Sailor Thomas English.  He is currently the Respiratory Therapist overseeing EPOCH of Brewster and Harwich. He is enjoying the part of Monsieur Thenardier and considers this the role of a lifetime! Thank you to Karen, Emily and Emma for their support!

Alanna Hartsgrove ~ Young Cosette
Alanna Hartsgrove is a 9 year old Cape Cod native, Dennis-Yarmouth student who enjoys baseball, blogging and performing in musicals.  She began studying ballet at age 3 at the Academy of Performing Arts and is currently a student at the Cape Cod Ballet Theatre for Children with Jackie Underwood. In addition to performing in Sound of Music at the Chatham Drama Guild [Birgetta], The King & I [Princess Ying Yaowalak], Broadway to Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays and Carousel at the Academy Playhouse. Alanna is thrilled to be cast again this season as Young Cosette in Les Miserables, which the Cape Cod Times noted her performance last season as “Endearing”..

 Chloe Brumfield ~ Cosette
Chloe is thrilled to be returning to the cast of Les Miserables for another great run! She is a recent graduate from Barnstable High School and has been performing since the age of five. Some of her recent credits are Les Miserables (Cosette; APA), The Sound of Music (Elsa Schraeder; BHS), CHICAGO (Mona; APA), Cymbeline (Imogen; BHS), and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice; Theater Under the Stairs). Chloe has been a vocal student of Dru Sunderman for seven years. She would like to thank Mimi Robinson, Victoria Howell, Peter Earle, Dru Sunderman, and her family for their endless support.

 

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About Our Playhouse Staff…

Peter Earle (Artistic/Executive Director) has directed and acted in many fine performances at The Academy of Performing Arts. Peter was most recently seen as Max Prince in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Max Biallystock in The Producers, Albin in La Cage aux Folles, as Hucklebee in The Fantasticks,  Antonio Salieri in the classic drama Amadeus, as Daddy Warbucks in Annie, as Billy Flynn in the smash hit Chicago, as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and as Felix in The Odd Couple. Academy directing credits include the mega hit Les Miserables, The Addams Family, Beauty and the Beast, Gigi, Kiss Me Kate, The Fantasticks, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, Wizard of Oz and the blockbuster hit The Producers among  many others. Peter is the Executive/Artistic Director at The Academy and Drama Instructor at Nauset Regional Middle School. Named one of the 100 most intriguing residents of Cape Cod in Cape Cod Life’s 25th Anniversary Issue, “Peter Earle actor, director, Artistic Director currently in residence at The Academy Playhouse where he works his magic producing extraordinary shows with volunteer actors.”

Katherine Petitt-Quigley (Resident Stage Manager) returned to the Cape in 2005, where she took an internship at Cape Rep. There, she stage managed the East Coast premiere of Tibet Through the Red Box. In 2007, she began an internship at WHAT and went on to become the Box Office Manager and Development Associate. In 2011, Katie interned on Broadway for the revival of Driving Miss Daisy with James Earl Jones and Venessa Redgrave. Katie returned to the Cape after a whirlwind adventure in the city, and joined The Academy family soon after, as Stage Manager for: Is He Dead, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, To Kill A Mockingbird, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, Les Miserables, and The Addams Family. She also co-directed her first production, Farndale Avenue… Christmas Carol. And performed as Katilin Hunyak in Chicago and as Helga in Cabaret.

 

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Talking Tech: Rehearsal Aids

Learning lines can be a time-consuming drudge chore and you’ll quickly run out of non-theater friends if you keep recruiting them to run lines with you.  But there are some very effective tech tools available that can help you learn lines, songs, dance steps and more and chances are you have at least one of them already!

Lines

  • Rehearsal 2 (for iPhone): This has got to be one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. For $19.99 in the iTunes App Store, Rehearsal 2 will rip your PDF scripts ($1.99 per script or $19.99/mo) to their servers and then you can highlight your lines, blackout your lines, record your lines, record other lines, rehearse scenes with your recorded lines included or excluded, add annotations and stage notes, and upload and e-mail voice auditions to your agent! Now where’s that Android version?
  • ScenePartner: Upload your script to ScenePartner and SP will rip it into scenes and acts. Then practice your lines with a bunch of different voice and cue options. ScenePartner has partnered with Dramatists Play Service to give you access to a full library of e-Scripts all rendered and ready for rehearsing. It’s available for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch for $4.99 from the iTunes store.
  • Voice Recorder: if you’re on a limited budget or don’t have an iPhone, here’s a simple, free alternative to Rehearsal 2, the Voice Recorder app built into your phone. Record your scenes with your lines and then record another version without your lines. Now while you’re hanging out or driving around, playback your recordings, practicing your voicings and characterizations, taking care to not drive off the road! It’s simple, fast, effective and available on just about every smart phone in existence.

Songs

  • Spotify: if you need to quickly find a song to use as an audition piece or just need to know what something sounds like, we haven’t found anything faster than Spotify. Search Big River and you’ll have the soundtrack at your fingertips instantly. Twenty hours per month are free on your computer but you’ll have to cough up $9.99/month to have Spotify on your mobile device(s).
  • Amazon Cloud Player: if you’re willing to pay for a song that you need to practice, Amazon makes the whole process easy. Find your tune in their store, buy it, save it up to the Amazon Cloud Player and voila – you now have your audition piece on every device that you own! Practice in the car, at the pizza place, or in the shower with your new waterproof iPad!
  • iTunes: yeah, iTunes libraries can be a hassle and sometimes you just can’t get that song to play on anything else but with the new iCloud service, iTunes mobility is getting better and is certainly part of your arsenal if you’re an Apple only gigger. And sometimes iTunes has things you just can’t find at Amazon!
  • Riff Master Pro: slow down that riff or part of a song that you just can’t figure out and you’ll have it mastered in no time. Riff Master Pro won’t change the pitch of what you’re practicing and is available for Windows, Mac, and iStuff for $49.

More to Come!

 

Ghosts of the Theater

Contributed by Christina Bologna

  Since being back on stage again, I’ve been reminded of all the little traditions and weird superstitions that go along with the theater. Little traditions and weird superstitions that were first instilled in me by my director at Waynesburg, Eddie. I really miss his opening night speech about being artists and how strictly he adhered to theater superstitions. There have been many times when someone has walked whistling across the stage and I cringe inwardly and have to fight against screaming out, “No whistling on-stage!!!!”

  So, since I’ve had to refrain from dumping my nerdy superstitions on my fellow non-aware thespians, I will do it here. These are some of the best, the worst, and the funniest traditions and superstitions that I hold near and dear to my heart. Enjoy!

  1. No Whistling On Stage. This is extremely bad luck and bodes no goods-ville for the production. The superstition dates back to the old days of theater when the sets were still operated by men up in the rigging who would control the fly system. At the time, the counterweights used to “fly” components of the set (curtains, lights, scenery, etc.) between scenes were normally sandbags. Since the crew couldn’t yell at each other during a show, they would use various whistling codes to queue when to release various ropes and pulleys, normally resulting in the dropping of a sandbag. If an unfortunate passer by was walking across the stage and whistling a random ditty, the fly crew could mistakenly interpret it as a queue and release a sandbag on top of the unsuspecting bloke. Lights out for that poor fellow.
  2. Never, Never, NEVER, Say The Word Macbeth Inside A Theater. Always to be referred to as “The Scottish Play” within theater walls and, to the more superstitious, everywhere else as well. Seasoned actors know not to utter the word of one of Shakespeare’s bloodier tragedies. The reason? Plain and simply, it’s cursed. So many strange and terrible events have surrounded the production of this show in theater history, including tales that one actor died in a fight scene when one of the prop daggers was replaced with a real one. If anyone ever, by accident or not, utters the taboo name, one must perform a “cleansing ritual.” My favorite? Running outside, spinning around three times, spitting, and shouting “If we shadows have offended!” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Here are a few other reasons why some (me) believe the tragedy is cursed:
    1. The spells cast by the three witches in one of the scenes are real curses Shakespeare “borrowed” from an actual coven of witches who were so offended when they found out, they cursed the play.
    2. The character H—- was not originally in the script and including her will intensify the curse.
    3.  There are a plethora of intricate fight scenes that are cause for accidents with or without a curse.
    4. It is a financially draining production which could be the reason why many theaters went belly up after its production.
    5. Shakespeare himself cursed the play so none but he would ever direct it.
  3. Never Wish An Actor “Good Luck.” It’s always “Break A Leg.” Mostly because, again, theater people are superstitious, so if you say “good luck” you’re just tempting the fate gods to rain bad luck down upon you. Another understanding is in the definition of bowing, placing one foot behind the other to “break” the line of the legs. To “Break Legs” would insinuate to have such a good show and the audience applauds so long, that one is required to take many bows.
  4. Always Leave On A “Ghost Light.” Practically speaking, this started for safety. If anyone has ever tried to navigate across a stage in the pitch black, it’s near impossible not to hurt yourself. There is no way to get your bearings, no wall to run your hand along, just wide open space. Leaving a light (normally set downstage center) lit for the late night passer by is just plain courtesy. However, the story that Eddie always told us that I believe to my core is that we leave a light on so that the Spirits of the Theater can come and perform for each other long after the last cast and crew member has left the theater. Every play and musical has an energy to it and after the show closes, the spirits of that show remain and reenact it on their own. There’s also the belief that when a great actor of a particular theater passes on, his or her spirit comes back as a benevolent force for that stage.
    Every theater has its own ghost story. Here are a few:
    1.  The Palace Theater in London never sells two seats in the balcony as they are always reserved for the theater ghosts.
    2. While rehearsals are underway at the famous Drury Lane Theater in England, it is considered good luck to see the Man In Grey.
    3. Just the other night, one of the actors in Fiddler was talking about how he was there late at night and the lights kept flickering for no reason accompanied by strange noises. He finally had too much and decided to leave. As he was leaving he said out loud, “Ok, I get the point, I’m leaving now”  only to get to his car and realize he left his cell phone inside. Upon entering the theater again, one of the light bulbs (that was off) exploded and rained glass over his head. He grabbed his phone and left.
  5. The Final Bow. I’m not sure how many people do this or if Eddie and I are the only ones. The truth is that I adopted this tradition from him way back during my freshman year after playing Agnes in the heart-wrenching three-woman show Agnes of God. On closing night at the end of the show, after all the lights are off (except the Ghost Light of course), after everyone has left, the last clap applauded, the costumes hung away, the last bow taken, there is one final bow. One Final Bow on a darkened stage to an empty audience. Bow Stage Left. Bow Stage Right. Bow Center Stage. And then right in the middle of that stage, in the very center, turn around and Bow Upstage, back towards the seats. It is a ritual of saying thank you – to everyone involved in the production – but mostly to the Spirits. A thank you for allowing me to partake in my character and share the joys and sorrows. It is the final touch to put the show to bed. It’s hard to have this moment at the Academy since we strike the set immediately after our final performance. There’s so much bustle that the Final Bow usually has to wait until the set is taken down and there are only remnants of the energy that lingers in the drapes, in the seats, in the curtains, in the very walls.
There’s something very noble and beautiful about The Stage. And it’s for all the little reasons above and so much more that I am so grateful to be able to participate in such an age-old tradition. Tradition. Tradition! Without tradition, our lives would be as shaky as….A Fiddler On The Roof!
And on that note….

Theater Etiquette

Theater Etiquette – How To Be A Great Actor

As a community theater, we encourage actors and actresses of all abilities and ages and backgrounds to take part in our plays, musicals and revues. So since not all of our thespians come to us with a strong familiarity with putting on a production, indeed for many, this is the first time that they’ve set foot on a stage, here are some tips on how to interact with your fellow actors, behave in and around the stage, and what to do if all else fails. Thanks to CommunityTheater.org and Actors’ Equity for ideas from their lists of actor’s etiquette: The Actor’s Guide to Backstage Etiquette; Actors’ Equity Actors’ Etiquette. So here, in no particular order:

  1. When you step off the stage, you vanish. Walk quietly backstage, in access corridors, up and down stairs, and everywhere in the theater. No talking or whispering off stage. No loud noise in the dressing room. Nothing ruins a scene more than the thumps of someone running to make a cue or someone talking in the wings.
  2. Once the house is open, stay off the stage and out of the theater. Don’t mingle with a waiting audience; you have other things to keep you busy.
  3. Never talk when the director is talking!
  4. Never miss an entrance. Even if you don’t remember your lines, get your body on to the stage so your fellow actor or actors at least have someone to talk to. They can coach you along if they have to. If you’re not there, they might have to monologue or soliloquize and we definitely don’t want that to happen!
  5. No mobile phones, especially in the wings! When you’re waiting to enter or supporting the on-stage cast from the wings, the show deserves all of your attention. Put the phone away and save the texting and tweeting for after rehearsal or after the night’s show.
  6. Accept all notes from the director graciously and say, “Thank you.” Never disagree with the director in front of the cast and if you don’t understand the note or disagree, ask the director for some one-on-one time to discuss.
  7. Never give other actors notes and don’t accept them from other actors. If someone does offer you notes, say “Thank you but we should take that through the director.” The only members of the production who should be giving notes are the director and the stage manager. It’s their job to make sure things look and sound the way they and the producers want, not yours. Constructive criticism among cast members is welcome, even encouraged in community theater since that’s the way we learn our chops, but all changes to the production must go through the director.
  8. Never add something to or remove something from your costume. It’s the costume designers job to put you in something appropriate for the show, not yours. If you have suggestions or problems with a part of your costume, take them to the costumer or the director.
  9. Don’t hang out in the wings to watch the show. Backstage areas can be tight and crew and your fellow actors have to get to where they need to be. If you want to watch the show, buy a ticket or get the DVD. Hang out in the dressing room.
  10. Pay attention to the monitors so you know what’s happening. There is no excuse for missing a cue. If you’re not going on-stage for a while, be respectful of those who are: stay out of the way of costume changes, don’t make so much noise that the other actors can’t hear the monitors, and don’t get in the way of travel corridors.
  11. Keep the dressing room neat and clean. You’re going to be living here for a while and there’s nothing more terrifying than losing a piece of your costume amid the mess, moments before you go on.
  12. When waiting in the wings for an entrance, watch your sight lines, that is the path between the audience and the stage. If you can see them, they can see you; and if you aren’t in the scene, you shouldn’t be in the scene!
  13. When entering and exiting, try to avoid brushing against scenery, backdrops, teasers and tormenters. Apart from breaking part of the set, all that motion can be seen by the audience and distracts them from the action on the stage.
  14. Tech rehearsals can be tough. Hang in while the crews fine-tune cues and equipment and remember that they control all the lights! Give them the respect they deserve while doing their jobs: pay attention, stay quiet, and be available as they jump from scene to scene.
  15. Pay attention to the stage manager. He or she will be telling you important stuff to keep the show running smoothly. And don’t forget to thank the stage manager when he gives a call (“15 minutes!” “Thank you 15!”). That’s so the stage manager knows that you heard the call and are ready to go.
  16. Never touch someone else’s prop, even if you think it’s out of place. They may have moved it there on purpose in order to help the flow of the show. Bring it to the attention of the stage manager if you think it’s in the wrong location.
  17. Always check your props before curtain. Things happen, props get bumped or moved or crushed. It’s also comforting to know that everything is where you expect it to be before the curtain goes up.
  18. Props don’t belong to you, they belong to the theater. Treat them with respect and be sure to return them to their rightful locations after you’ve used them. If you’d like to practice with a prop at home, DON’T. Find an alternate or make arrangements with the director or stage manager to come in and rehearse at some other time.
  19. Unless you’re doing improv, don’t ad-lib. The authors and playwrights wrote the lines that way for a reason so if you want to mess around with the script, write your own play.
  20. Whether it’s a rehearsal or production night, don’t miss a call time. There’s a very good reason that the director made a call for 6:00pm even if you don’t know what it is. And if you’re going to be late or miss a rehearsal, let the stage manager or director know as soon as possible so that they have plenty of time to make allowances.
  21. Always give your best! Whether it’s a 1pm matinee with a house full of kids or an 8pm curtain in front of the reviewers, the audience paid to come see you become somebody else. There’s no excuse for giving less than 100%! Focus!
  22. Always be respectful of everyone you work with: the staff, the crew, the directors, the designers, the other actors, and yourself!