The Actorsingers

Presenting Community Theatre since 1955

In the Spotlight Mark Schwartzberg 

Plays Javert in Les Misérables

Mark Schwartzberg from Bedford New Hampshire plays Javert  and is very familiar with the production as all three of his sons have appeared in “ Les Misérables” productions in recent years and he is now following in their footsteps.  His son Nathan played Jean Valjean in a Palace youth production and his son Daniel played Valjean at school and Javert at Peacock Players.  His son Jakov played Babet. a member of Thenardier's gang and also a student in the Peacock Players production.

Schwartzberg, originally from Rochester, NY, did theater in high school and college, though he ended up going into medicine (pediatrics).  His earliest theater memory is of playing Charlie Brown in "You're a Good Man..." when he was 13.

 Schwartzberg has been in several Actorsingers productions including "Man of La Mancha", "Aida" and "Curtains.”  He has also acted at the Palace, with Stage One, with Stagecoach and with MADCO.

Schwartzberg particularly wanted to play Javert because he finds his character to be so complex and conflicted.  He thinks that Javert really wants to do what is right and to put some order into a world that has been in upheaval and chaos since the revolution in 1789.  He likely would have directly experienced the revolution and its aftermath as a child (according to the book by Victor Hugo,  Valjean was born in 1769 and Javert in about 1780).  He would have been 13 or 14 during the “Reign of Terror.”  Add to this the fact that Javert was born in prison.

In reaction to all this, he has applied to himself and to the world a standard of absolute adherence to the rule of law. In fact, having seen M Madeleine (Valjean), the mayor, lift a heavily loaded cart to save a stranger’s life, he goes to his superiors and denounces the mayor as Valjean.  On learning that "Valjean" has been caught, he confesses his actions to the mayor (Valjean) as deserving of punishment though no harm has actually come to the mayor through those actions.  Ultimately, Javert cannot reconcile his absolutist view of good and evil with the kindness and charity he receives from the "fallen" Valjean.  Trying to portray that without making the characterization cliché-ed or cartoonish is the great challenge of the role.

How did Schwartzberg feel about being cast?  Frankly, he was shocked when he got the call asking him to try to arrange for a callback.  When he left the initial audition he thought "Oh well, it was fun to try and I think I sang pretty well".  When he did his callback all out of breath, he thought "well I had my chance but..."  So, when he was cast, he was really surprised and then a bit anxious - can I pull this off?  It is, as you know, a bit of a family tradition and, though it may seem somewhat backwards in terms of the generations.”

What does Schwartzberg get from theater?  “Theater frees me to explore ideas and emotions which are not a part of my everyday life.  And, as most of what I have done recently is musical theater, I get to sing!”

Posted by Evelynn Decker Thursday, November 7, 2013 7:52:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In the Spotlight Sheree Owens 

Plays Eponine in Les Misérables

 

Shreree Owens, a Concord, NH resident, makes her Actorsingers debut in  “Les Misérables” as Eponine.  She connects to her character in the following way, “I am fortunate enough to be with the love of my life, not caught in the ‘friend zone’ like poor Eponine, but I can draw on that love and imagine what it would be like if I were to lose it, or never have gotten to have it at all.”   When asked about bringing  Eponine to life she states “I want this Eponine to be set apart from others.  I have a clear idea of what motivates my Eponine and of her personality, and I'm hoping that comes through in my performance.  It's hard to follow up Lea Salonga and Samantha Barks and all the Eponines that people have seen and will see locally, but all I can do is be true to my Eponine and the context of this production and try my best."

Posted by Evelynn Decker Wednesday, November 6, 2013 12:17:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight Don Higgins  

Plays Thenardier in Les Misérables

Don originally from Vandalia, Ohio now lives in Derry New Hampshire.  Don Auditioned for Les Misérables because Thenardier  was on his bucket list of Character Roles he always wanted to play! What was Don’s reaction when he was cast as Thenardier?  “Amazement”  Don enjoys theatre he feels it is “A release of creativity through collaboration and experimentation that can’t be matched anywhere else.”

Don has performed with Actorsingers in the past in Guys and Dolls, and Sound of Music. He also was in Titanic and Pirates of Penzance with Stagecoach, 1776 with MaMu Productions and Bedford Off Broadway as well as in Weird Romance with Not Your Mom’s Musical Theater.

Don sees  his character Thenardier as a “survivor,  doing what he has to.  After all the best way to play a bad guy is to play them as heroes... of their story.”  What is the most challenging part of bringing his role to life?   “I play a bad guy.  But he also has to be funny.  Figuring out how to take a guy who does terrible things and make the audience love him for it.... that’s fun.”

What was Don’s earliest theatre memory?  “High school auditions.  Funny, audition anxiety hasn't changed much!”

Don is a freelance illustrator and his work can be seen at:  www.artwanted.com/dkhiggins

Posted by Evelynn Decker Tuesday, November 5, 2013 5:00:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In the Spotlight Ashley St. Martin 

Plays Cosette in Les Misérables

Ashley is from Candia, New Hampshire and as a young singer, she grew up listening to the Ashley St.Martin soundtrack (Original London Cast Recording), and it was one of the first professional theatre productions that she saw- either in Boston or New York. She has always wanted to play the role of Cosette!

Ashley recently performed in Chicago with the Actorsingers, and has performed with other area groups including Footlight Theatre, Manchester Choral Society, Plymouth State University, Majestic Theatre, and The Acting Loft.  Ashley enjoys expressing creativity through theatre, and has a love for music and performing.  She says “It's a unique environment where I get to share my passion with other artists. I'm fortunate to be part of such a talented community!”

How did Ashley react when she was cast? “I woke up very early in the morning and got the news... I was so excited that I couldn't fall back asleep!”

How does Ashley connect with her character Cosette?  “I connect with her by imagining myself in her situation. She grew up without her mother or father, and abused by the Thénardiers. Around age eight she enters into a privileged albeit sheltered life with her caretaker, Jean Valjean. To me, she has to represent hope--both to Valjean and the audience. She stands for light and goodness in the midst of a lot of tragedy.”  Ashley found the most challenging part in telling Cosette's story in the scenes where she has either very few lines or none at all.

Ashley’s earliest theatre memory was her first musical; she played the role of a dancing saucer in Beauty and the Beast. She was not happy when she found out.. she had wanted to be Chip (the teacup.) Years later, she performed in the same show as Belle!

When not on stage Ashley recently became a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, and will have three additional certificates by January 2014.

Posted by Evelynn Decker Monday, November 4, 2013 6:04:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In the Spotlight Debra Buckley 

Playes Madame Thenardier in Les Misérables

Debra Buckley makes her Actorsingers debut in “Les Misérables.”  She has performed in shows with New London Barn Playhouse, Newport Opera House, Community Players of Concord, SKIT (Sunapee Kearsarge Intercommunity Theatre and Majestic Theatre.  She plays Madame Thenardier and stated she has had some true struggles in her life and that struggles tend to either harden the heart, or foster empathy for others.  She went on to say Madame Thenardier and I responded differently.  There has to be something human about her, something to which people can relate on some level.  Maybe it's the fact that she stands by her husband despite his shortcomings, or maybe it's that she's a survivor, but there has to be something that allows the audience to like or understand something about her.”

Posted by Evelynn Decker Sunday, November 3, 2013 9:50:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In the Spotlight Ruth Pack 

Plays in the female ensemble in Les Misérables

Ruth Pack

Ruth resides in Hollis, New Hampshire and auditioned for Les Misérables as she loves the music and wanted the opportunity to sing it!

Ruth has sung with Actorsingers Holiday Stroll and this is her first main-stage production with Actorsingers, in fact this is her first community theatre performance in the area as all her prior performances have been in Tennessee and New Jersey.

When Ruth first found out she was cast she was both surprised and humbled!  She was looking for challenging singing opportunities, and the chance to become someone different for a few hours!

Ruth is part of the ensemble and plays several parts, all of whom are poor and desperate to survive. She tries to imagine how she would feel and react if she could not feed her children and had no hope of things getting better until the students unveil their plan. What is her most challenging part of bringing her role to life?  Not just trying to look poor and desperate but BEING poor and desperate!

Ruth’s earliest theatre memory was going to see The Barber of Seville, Carmen, and The Mikado with her mother and grandmother when she was very young.

What does Ruth do for fun and work when she isn’t working in the theater?  She is a worship leader, vocalist, and bassist for the worship team at Trinity Baptist Church in Nashua, and also a recovery room nurse at Elliot Hospital.  

Posted by Evelynn Decker Saturday, November 2, 2013 3:44:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In the Spotlight Kate Gaudet 

Plays in the female ensemble in Les Misérables

Kate originally from Portland, Oregon and most recently Clearwater, Florida, was an Air Force brat and also married someone in the Air Force. Kate and her husband like to say they are from pretty much everywhere, you name it and they have probably lived there.

Kate’s “FAVORITE SHOW EVER” has seen it 5 times - once on Broadway in the early 90's, the rest were touring companies throughout the years.  The music is so stirring - gets her every time!  Still brings tears to her eyes.

This is Kate’s first production with Actorsingers and when she found out she was cast as Old Woman #2 she jumped up and screamed “YES!!!!!” Her favorite characters have always been the "not so beautiful" ones.  Crazy, blacked-out teeth, wild hair, a hunchback, Kate says “BRING IT ON!!” with this role.

Kate’s earliest theatre memory was when she played "Susie Snowflake" in the Christmas Pageant in 6th grade but then went the sports route in high school. She came back to the theatre game much later - did her first community theatre show when she was 28.  She loved it so much she went back to school to get her Theatre (Acting) degree, than she decided her senior year in college she would like to direct so went back to school in the BFA program for Directing.  Kate has been at it ever since!

  When you ask Kate what she does for fun and work when she isn’t working in the theater?  She’s likely to respond “There's something besides theatre??”

What does Kate get from theater?  It’s the friendship and the bonding that develops through working on a show.  There is no other collaboration like it.  Whenever, or wherever she has moved over the years, all she had to do was audition for a show and BAM! Instant friendship!  She looks forward to all the new friendships she will make in this cast!

Posted by Evelynn Decker Friday, November 1, 2013 5:14:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In the Spotlight Matt Kaiser 

Plays Feuilly in Les Misérables

Matt Kaiser

 

Matt Kaiser is from Merrimack, NH.  “Les Misérables” is his first theatre production out of college.  He plays Feuilly, one of the student revolutionaries, and the hardest part of playing this role has been trying to imagine having such a devotion to a cause that you are willing to die for it. All of that pride, anger and hope has to come out in the songs that we sing.

Posted by Evelynn Decker Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5:03:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In the Spotlight Kathy LeClair  

Plays in the female ensemble in Les Misérables

Kathy LeClair

 

Kathy is from Chester, New Hampshire and auditioned this past August for Les Misérables as it was one of her favorite shows.  She found out she was cast while on a golf course and was so excited she started jumping up and down, now that must have been a sight! Kathy has been performing in Actorsingers shows for over 20 years and plays an Old beggar in this production. She got the theatre bug in Kindergarten when she saw the Nutcracker and fell in love at that moment with the stage. Why does Kathy perform? She gets a personal satisfaction of making the audience happy.

Posted by Evelynn Decker Tuesday, October 29, 2013 7:25:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In the Spotlight Darcy Rae Hinkle 

Plays Young Cosette in Les Misérables

Darcy Hinkle

 

Darcy is the 3rd generation of her family to participate in Actorsingers! Her grandparents Raul Gual and Sara Gual were involved as board members and on stage in the late 1960s. Her mother, Gillian Hinkle played in the pit orchestra for several shows and her brother, Robert Gual performed on stage with Actorsingers as a teen and again later as an adult.

Darcy loves the show Les Misérables and has performed on stage with Actorsingers in Stuart Little and Seussical. She was really excited to be cast in the show and even more excited that her friend Ben was cast too.

Darcy’s  plays young Cosette when asked how does she connects to her character, she responds “I DON"T KNOW! Well, we are both dreamers!”  She finds her most challenging part of bringing her role to life is not laughing because she knows they are really mean. What Darcy enjoys about theatre different from anything else she does is she gets to be someone else for a while.

Her earliest theatre memory is when she had to run to the back of the auditorium, in the dark, over and over again!

For fun when she isn’t involved in theater she is involved with soccer, drawing, oboe and First Lego League.

Posted by Evelynn Decker Monday, October 28, 2013 4:17:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage
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