Monday, April 10, 2017

Artist Profile: Chelsey Wagemaker

Next up is the ever so important stage manager: Chelsey Wagemaker.

Why do you do theater? I do theater because each production is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something unique with a cast and crew who choose to devote their time and energy to an art form that exists one performance at a time.  The friendship, trust, and mutual respect fostered in the theater is unlike anything you'll find elsewhere.  It's an adventure - a chance to celebrate using your imagination, stepping outside of your comfort zone, learning something new about yourself and others, and having a lot of fun.

What is your favorite thing about working with Broom Street? The  great team of people connected to it who love theater and Madison and want to bring new and exciting stories to life on stage.  I love that I learn something new with every production I'm a part of and that I can continue to grow as an artist.  And I love that Broom Street has a long history in the community and I'm now a part of that history.  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Artist Profile: Alyssa Stowe

Next up is the fabulous Alyssa Stowe who is playing the enigmatic Kat.

Why are you excited about Geppetto?  I'm excited to enter this dark and bizarre world of magic, masks, and adventure. I'm excited to flush out such a gritty character, and find how she exists in such a world. 

What is your favorite past role, why? My favorite past role is Sukey from The 800th Annual Salvation Swing-off. I had the unique experience of playing her twice which allowed me to really get to know her. She was scrappy and rock-n-roll and I loved that about her. She also grew a lot in the course of the play, so the character arch was quite delicious. 

What's the craziest thing you've ever done on stage? Well, I guess this title has to go to my current role of Chick in Dumpster Flower. In the third act, we play out our botched version of Midsummer Night's Dream and Chick plays Titania, so being an ethereal creature, I get to come out on stage almost completely naked. I wear small nude spandex shorts and then I'm covered in shear, see-through tulle. It's really fun actually, especially because I float around like I'm possessed. I really enjoy it.

What are you hiding behind your mask? More knives, probably

Why do you do theatre? You know that feeling when you're standing the wings, waiting for your cue, and you're deadly quiet, waiting and watching? The stage is bright from all the lights and it pools in your entrance as you hide in the shadows. You hear the audience responding to the actors on stage, and you watch them to know when to enter, but he audience decides how you enter. It's different every night, depending on the energy of the audience. So you wait, and all your nerves are tingling with anticipation, yet you feel nothing. You are no longer in your body, and as the actor utters the line that beckons you onstage, everything slows down; everything goes bright. You are not in control, you are pulled by the magnetic force, like a proton to a large atom, adding your charge to the mix. Then like a perfectly tuned machine you speak your lines; they are clear and well crafted. You're presence is to the environment on stage, the other actors, but the whole time you are tuned into the audience. You gauge them with a sixth sense, and you're thinking 'what will make them laugh?' 'what will shock them?' And you do a dance, throwing focus and energy to the scene then out, actor then audience, like an elegant tennis match or evening tide, pushing and pulling. Until, once you've made your mark, once you moved the story just a little more, you give your small salutation and leave the stage with just a little more than when you entered. You walk into the dark. You take a breath. You feel nothing. You get ready for your next scene, and do it all over again. That's why I do theatre. 

What's your favorite thing about working at Broom Street? Oh, hands down, the people. The experimental work is always thrilling and challenging, but it's nothing if you don't have a team who is just as creatively ambitious. I've worked with such artists and geniuses, and they've inspired some of my best work on stage. Above all, we're a family. Once you get in, you never really leave. Everyone wants you to succeed and is willing to give you whatever encouragement or resources you need. I owe all my success, present and future, to Broom Street.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Artist Profile: Loryn Jonelis

Next is Pinocchio, Loryn Jonelis.
    What is your favorite past role? Gentleman Johnny Johnson in Sweet William. It was such a challenging role in many ways. We didn't have a lot of time to put it together, I had to memorize how to spell things with the NATO alphabet. I was working nights at the time. I had auditioned on a whim. A lot of things worked right. They fell into place in the most beautiful way. I felt it then and I still feel it now, there was magic in that show.
      Why do you do theater? To tell stories in a more visual way. I enjoy learning about the characters I play and becoming them a little bit. Sometimes that allows me to learn about myself too. Theatre also builds bonds. There are some people I may never have met were it not for theatre and my life would be a little less colorful without them. 

      What’s your favorite thing about working with Broom Street? 
      It's hard to pin down my favorite thing about working with Broom. It's a place that isn't afraid to take risks whether it's in the story, staging, or casting of a show. It's a place to learn and grow. I started acting at Broom and have now done choreography, props, and stage managing. Oh, and I guess running crew-ish. I'm also a board member. I know that my story isn't unique in how I've come to be where I am. Broom Street likes to encourage growth which is nice to see in a traditionally quite competitive environment.