The Actorsingers

Presenting Community Theatre since 1955

In The Spotlight - Catherine Andruskevich (CZA) (2015) 

Co-Producer Into The Woods

A life member, former Miss N.H., past president and board member, CZA as she best known, is one of Actorsingers most prominent people. Her first memory of musical theater was listening to her parent’s recordings of musicals when she was a young child.  Her mom would tell people that she was born a performer and she would sing for company. Her first show was as a junior in high school in NY, in the ensemble of “Bye,Bye Birdie”. After her family moved to Nashua, CZA got together with some of her classmates to form the first drama club at the then Mount St. Mary High School with Stan Perry, a well-known local actor, as their mentor. She has been a member of Actorsingers since 1970, as well as Nashua Theatre Guild, and the former New Thalian Players, MADCO, and several others.

CZA’s top three favorite roles include Kate/Lilli: “Kiss Me Kate”, Marsineh: “Kismet” and Woman 1: “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.” The best things about being involved in Community Theater are performing, sharing the work and fun of getting a show “on the boards”, the response from the audience and the many lifelong friendships that have lasted for several decades.

After many years performing and working backstage in virtually every capacity, CZA took the plunge in 1984 and directed her first Actorsingers main stage musical, “The Sound of Music,” and in ensuing years also directed “My Fair Lady,” “Damn Yankees,” “Fiddler on the Roof” (her fav so far), and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”  She has also directed non-musicals for the Nashua Theatre Guild and MADCO, including favs “Steel Magnolias,” “Wait Until Dark,” and “Twelve Angry Jurors.”

Other theatrical elements in her background include theatre reviewer for the Manchester Union Leader, covering Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the American Stage Festival. She also formed Onstage Productions at the former Mt. St. Mary High School and Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, where she taught all aspects of theatrical production and performance to the students for five years.

CZA is a professional executive assistant, which she has been doing since high school (a career chosen by her father). She is the most avid cheerleader of her son, Carl Andress, a playwright/director/actor based in NYC. A favorite pastime is seeing as much live theater with her friends as she can afford and then critiquing the performances with them.  She would love to get back to directing both musicals and plays. Her dream roles would be to any juicy characters in either a musical or play at this stage of her life.

Show Dates November 6,7,8 Tickets available here

Posted by Evelynn Decker Saturday, October 31, 2015 10:06:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In The Spotlight - Catherine Dennehy (2015) 

Stepmother in Into The Woods

Catherine has always enjoyed singing, however never was involved in theater until high school. One of the first shows Catherine saw on Broadway was Rent when she was fifteen. The other was Showboat... She fell in love with theater and has been hooked ever since. Unless you count being a sheep in the Christmas pageant in kindergarten, her first show that she was in, was "Into the Woods" in High School where she played Cinderella, and she have been hooked ever since. It was Candace Gatzoulis, who is playing Rapunzel that got her back into theatre, after a long hiatus.

Catherine belongs to the Majestic Theatre in Manchester NH. She has performed and choreographed many shows for them. This summer she was in the role of Consuela in “Westside Story”. This is Catherine's first Actorsingers production and she looks forward to many more.  Her show is "Guys and Dolls" where she played the role of Adelaide.  She also loves the powerful music and dancing in "Aida" which she was in the ensemble. Her third favorite show that she has done was "SUDS" where she played the role of Dee Dee, a quirky guardian angel.

Catherine enjoys meeting new people and working with different actors. She also appreciates working with different directors, who push her to become the best actress she can be. When not doing Community Theater, Catherine is a physical therapist at Northeast Rehab in Nashua where she specializes in traumatic brain injury and stroke rehabilitation. She also is the director of the Miss Londonderry/Manchester scholarship program, a preliminary for Miss New Hampshire. The dream roles that she would love to play the role of Aida in "Aida" as well as Velma Kelly in "Chicago".

Show Dates November 6,7,8 Tickets available here

Posted by Evelynn Decker Thursday, October 29, 2015 5:57:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In The Spotlight - Candace Gatzoulis (Glickman) (2015) 

Rapunzel in Into The Woods

At the age of 10, Candace auditioned for a youth audition company called “Broadway Review” showing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”, and got cast even though it wasn’t a Broadway themed show. She fell in love with theater seeing “Beauty and the Beast and since then, has always wanted to play Belle, as does her very young daughter! Candace owes her inspiration to theater to her parents, who found the Broadway Review audition. Her mom took her to her very first voice lesson in preparation for the audition, and have supported her throughout her theatrical ups and downs and taught her to never give up and to keep working hard.

Candace has performed, directed and choreographed several productions with the Majestic Theater since 1997, most recently portraying the role of Anita in ”West Side Story”. She has also performed in a professional Palace Theater production, as well as Plymouth State University, Acting Loft, Milford Area Players and Players Ring.  This is her first Actorsingers production of which she is most excited to be part of.

Candace loves the collection of people who truly love what they are doing in being part of community theater and finds being around such passion and creativity most inspiring. Her top three favorite roles are: Cathy: Wuthering Heights: The Musical, in the North American Premier, Della in “Gift of the Magi”, and Anita in “West Side Story”.  She holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from UNH-Manchester, and started out wanting to be a television broadcaster or talk show host. She interned for WGIR as an on-air VJ for Rock 101, which lead to her true passion which is theatre education, receiving a Master’s degree from Emerson College and is now the Performing Arts Instructor at Hampstead Academy, and also teaches private voice and acting.

When Candace isn’t teaching or performing, she loves to spend time with her husband, Teri, and daughter, Kyla, hanging out by their pool, going for jogs/walks, playing soccer together and watching rainy day family movies! She especially loves accompanying Kyla on the piano as she sings “Naughty” from Matilda: The musical.

After spending many years behind-the-scenes directing and choreographing, Candace is very excited to be performing onstage again, and is most thankful for the support from her husband and daughter to get back onstage more consistently.

Show Dates November 6,7,8 Tickets available here

Posted by Evelynn Decker Wednesday, October 28, 2015 7:38:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In The Spotlight - Joel Iwaskiewicz (2015) 

The Baker in Into The Woods

Joel is no stranger to the stage, especially in the Nashua area. His first musical audition was “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, which his mom thought it would make sense for him to sing something he knew. By the end of his audition, he was gasping for air, but that lead him to be cast in Peacock Players “Doctor Doolittle in seventh grade. After that, Joel was hooked.

Joel used to write plays for his Lego figurines and Star Wars action figures, so he was quite sure that his parents signed him up for acting classes in the desperate hope that his hobby would lead to friendships with humans vs.  action figures, and they were right. He loves working with both Actorsingers and Stagecoach Productions, and has had the privilege of working with other NH theater groups as well.

Among Joel’s favorite roles, the include climbing the barricade in two different casts of “Les Miserables”, and “Bat Boy”: New Thalian Players, which was whacky fun. But nothing is more special to him than dancing with his wife Laura, in the Actorsingers production of “Crazy for You”, where he played the leading role of Bobby, and Laura was the leading role of Polly.

Joel says that he loves being a part of such a vibrant, ambitious and caring community of artists, storytellers and risk-takers, which is what community theater is all about. Joel teaches high school English and loves to read and write in his spare time. He and Laura love to cook, travel, and purchase art together, and he gets a great kick out of playing soccer, watching Jeopardy and competitively predicting the Oscars. He would be over the moon to play the role of George in Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Sunday in the Park with George”.

Show Dates November 6,7,8 Tickets available here

 

Posted by Evelynn Decker Tuesday, October 27, 2015 12:32:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In The Spotlight - Dan Pelletier (2015) 

Director - Into The Woods

Dan is the director of Into the Woods.  His first memory about musical theater is going to see the musicals at Prescott Park with his family when he was really little. He says his first show was Annie but doesn’t recall Annie having a helicopter in it. Not counting his school performances, such as being a tree in Goldilocks (that counts) was in the 8th grade at age 14 as part of the  ensemble of the Palace Theater’s production of Footloose.

Dan became inspired to do theater as by his friends who all getting into it and he followed them. He has always been a performer, and the production of Footloose changed how he looked at theater. It made him take it more seriously and then fell in love with the art form. He works with many different theater groups around the state including The Palace, Majestic, Windham Actors Guild, Cue Zero and Little Church Theater.  Into the Woods in Dan’s first Actorsingers production. His top 3 favorite shows performing are Avenue Q, Fiddler on the Roof, and Footloose. He has directed Into the Woods, The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee and Legally Blonde.

Dan finds it very rewarding when working on a show with the right group of people, and everyone starts working harder and pushing themselves further, not only because they are looking forward to getting applause and praise, but seeing how hard everyone else is working and matching the energy and enthusiasm that the rest of the cast has. When everyone is working to make everyone else look better, that's when we have truly magical shows.

Theatre IS Dan’s life, and he holds a degree in theatre from UNH and wants to eventually work full time professionally for a large regional theater, preferably as the Artistic Director. In his free time, Dan enjoys comic books, football, and pro wrestling. His dream role is to play Orin Scrivello, DDS in Little Shop of Horrors and he also wants to direct this show as well.


Stephen Sondheim is the single greatest theatre artist in American history, and Dan’s hope is that everyone will all come out to see this beautiful show. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you might just learn something too. He says that he has never assembled 20 more talented people in a single room before, so you won't want to miss the fruits of their labors.

Show Dates November 6,7,8 Tickets available here

 

Posted by Evelynn Decker Sunday, October 25, 2015 6:55:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In The Spotlight - Darik Velez (2015)  

Cinderella's Prince and The Wolf in Into The Woods

Darik Velez will be playing Cinderella's Prince and The Wolf in  Into The Woods.  His first memory of musical theater was is sitting by the kid running the spotlight for a high school production of Anything Goes that my older sisters were in. He wanted nothing more than to grow up to run the spotlight. He eventually ended up on stage and still has yet to make it to the lighting booth. His first part was age 6 as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing…..and was hooked after that. Darik credits his music teachers, siblings and director of his first real show in the 9th grade as his inspirations to do theater. He loves how you can express deep emotions through acting and song. After an absence, he has just returned to musical theater in NH and has performed with Stagecoach productions. This is his first show with Actorsingers. 

Darik's top three favorite shows and roles are Big River (Huck), The Fantastiks (El Gallo) and Children of Eden (Adam). He loves being part of the creative process allowing for great experiences to happen with people whom he might not have otherwise met. His other interests when not doing theater are astronomy and physics, and keeping with his two children (ages 8 and 5). He also plays ice hockey and is always on the lookout for activities to focus his energy on things like archery and pumpkin carving.

His dream roles are to play John Adams (1776), Chris (Miss Saigon) Chess (either part) Che (Evita) Mark (Rent) and Don Quixote in Man of LaMancha.

Show Dates November 6,7,8 Tickets available here

Posted by Evelynn Decker Sunday, October 25, 2015 10:58:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight Main Stage

In The Spotlight - Kelsey Rae Marot (2015) 

Ensemble in American Idiot

Hi all!  I’m Kelsey Rae, and I’m beyond thrilled to be making my ActorSingers debut as a part of the ensemble of this stellar cast of idiots!  Being a part of this production and meeting all of these wonderful people has truly reignited my passion for performing, and for anyone who has ever experienced that absence of purpose, it’s clear just how priceless that gift of fulfillment is. 

Honestly, it’s a bit of a blur as to how this all came to be…but here’s how I remember it:  One Saturday afternoon, I was out with a friend and we stopped at the local Starbucks.  While waiting for our orders, I found myself drawn to the bulletin board and a flyer that had been posted.  “American Idiot Auditions!”  It was right there.  So naturally, I took down the information…just in case.  After hours pulling my hair out over my audition song and flip-flopping over whether or not to even audition at all, I asked myself:  “what could it hurt?”  Having not performed in over four years, I never imagined that I’d get cast.  I am so thankful that the creative team saw something in me that I hadn’t. 

It took me a while to figure out where and how I exactly fit into this show.  It’s easy to rock out and be punk—mess up your hair, throw on some heavy eyeliner and just say “screw the world”—but this story delves so much deeper.  In realizing this, it was easy to develop the backstory.  I see myself as a runaway that had been pushed around my whole life and has finally taken a stand by striking out on my own.  By doing so, I find this innate strength that I harness to then stand up for those who are getting less than they deserve.  Who doesn’t like an empowered rocker-chick, right?! :)

I think one of the most rewarding parts of this experience is realizing just how far I’ve come since my first performance way back when.  I grew up in the small town of Douglas, MA.  My school didn’t have a theatre troupe or a drama department—but what we did have was music.  My first experiences as a performer were as part of the chorus under the direction of Al Denoncour.   I don’t think I ever looked back after that first concert and I owe a lot of that to Al himself.  Over the past fourteen years, he has helped to guide me along my creative path, not only as my teacher and mentor, but as my dear friend.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without him and others like him that have supported me on this journey. 

My creative journey has been…well…a sporadic one to say the least.  My backstage career has been on the front burner for some time now while the performance aspect has been set aside to cool.  Over the past few years, I’ve traveled and worked as a theatre carpenter for different companies up and down the east coast.  Recently though, I’ve settled down in Concord, NH, where I’m currently working as the Production/Events Manager & Administrative Assistant at the Capitol Center for the Arts.  Working in theatre, performing or otherwise, it’s become quite clear that no matter where you go, you will meet the most incredible people.  I’ve been blessed with my experiences and the friends I’ve made along the way and what I’ve realized, by participating on both onstage and off, is that I don’t need to pick and choose.  All I need in life to be happy is to be involved in the magic that is the theatre.  The rest will come as it may. 

Show Dates Aug 28, 29, 30 and Sept 3, 4, 5 Tickets available here

Photography by: Stephanie Pappas Photography

 

Posted by Evelynn Decker Saturday, September 5, 2015 9:21:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight

In The Spotlight - Matt Kaiser (2015) 

Will in American Idiot

My name is Matt Kaiser and I play Will in the Production of American Idiot. My suburbia was right outside of Baltimore. I took a holiday to Boston and now live in Nashua.

I had just become a teenager when the American Idiot album came out. I had already dealt with loss and anger and guilt that I had no clue how to handle. Getting to share the story of American Idiot seemed like an opportunity to, in so many words, share my own. I began preparing for my audition from the moment the show was announced — I went back to all of my albums from high school looking for an audition song, and I even started taking guitar lessons in case they asked me to play. I HAD to be part of this show.

This is my second Actorsingers show after Les Mis, which was my first production after moving to New Hampshire in 2013. I saw my wife’s cousin, Maddie, perform in Actorsingers’ Sound of Music a couple years before and knew I had to be part of this community. I’ve also done some shows with StageCoach since then.

When I was cast I was floored. I think I was so overwhelmed that I was late to work that morning. It was one thing to join the production, but to get a chance to play Will and become part of the story was a dream come true.

Will is a deadbeat – he drinks, he smokes, he watches way too much TV (I won’t get too deep into how similar Will is to a slightly younger Matt…). Will blows his one chance of getting out of suburbia by getting his girlfriend pregnant, and caves under the responsibility. Through the years, I’ve seen a bit of Will in one friend after another. He represents a generation of kids unable to cope with their mistakes and the expectations of the world around them. He’s a character that a lot of people can relate to — and if he makes it through, he’s proving that they can too. Will has a hopelessness that requires me to access a lot of memories that I’ve put away. During a rehearsal run-through I cried during 21 Guns. I love every moment of this show but it’s also reminding me of a version of me that hurts to remember, and that’s hard.

I didn’t perform in a show until my senior year of high school, but I did get selected to play the recorder for our elementary school production of Johnny Appleseed. The American Idiot pit band has nothing on me.

It’s hard to explain the feeling I get when I’m on stage. Taking on a character like Will helps me, for better or worse, understand a little bit more about whom I am. There is something transformative about opening up, even if it’s as someone else. I also do it for the people. This American Idiot cast and crew is like a family to me now, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

I have a design degree from MassArt and work as a designer for PillPack pharmacy in Manchester. Outside of work and theater I like to travel with, watch movies with, and up until this past June, do wedding planning with my now wife!

 

Show Dates Aug 28, 29, 30 and Sept 3, 4, 5 Tickets available here

Photography by: Stephanie Pappas Photography

Posted by Evelynn Decker Friday, September 4, 2015 12:22:00 PM Categories: In the Spotlight

In The Spotlight - Laura Millar (2015) 

Assistant Stage Manager American Idiot

 My name is Laura Millar from Mont Vernon, NH and I am the Assistant Stage Manager for American Idiot.

 I really wanted the chance to try working backstage. I had a lot of friends involved with the production, and the material is just so good. It seemed like a great chance to try something new.  I love the community. I love being part of a team, working together to make something magical.

 The most challenging part of ASM is learning the ropes and figuring out exactly what I needed to know. Stage Manager Beth Schwarz has been amazing. I have never run crew, or done anything of the sort. It’s important to note that our show has no needles (or drugs) in our syringes! Also, this cast is not nearly as angsty as their performances imply. 

I have been in the ensemble for Actorsingers, and I am the head of the social committee. I played Henrietta in Stagecoach's All Shook Up, and the Sour Kangaroo with the Amherst PTA's Seussical. I directed the summer alumni production of Damn Yankees at the Riverbend in 2012.

I remember my mother taking me to see many productions at the former American Stage Festival in Milford. I was always annoyed when it was a musical, because "people don't really just start singing their feelings." I then went on to study opera. Go figure.

I am a middle school English teacher, and I enjoy doing various "crafty" things. I also teach voice lessons through my new company, Naxos Voice Studio.

Do you wanna be an American Idiot?

Show Dates Aug 28, 29, 30 and Sept 3, 4, 5 Tickets available here

 

Posted by Evelynn Decker Thursday, September 3, 2015 3:08:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight

In The Spotlight - Julie Shea (2015) 

Ensemble in American Idiot

My name is Julie Shea from Nashua and I appear as ensemble member Julie in American Idiot. I’m originally from Maine and after attending college in the area I moved permanently to NH in 2008.

Music is my first love, so it was a no brainer to audition for a show that’s built around an album filled with music that I already loved. Additionally, what they’ve done with the songs—the arrangements, the harmonies—are far more complex than the originals and it’s really rewarding to get right. The great part is that the themes of the show are relatable on many levels, especially if you’re familiar with the album.

 My first Actorsingers show was last fall doing “Young Frankenstein.” I just recently started doing theater again after a long hiatus and have done several shows with Stagecoach Productions as well since 2013. I was so thrilled when cast. Knowing that I didn’t really fit the “punk” mold, I was a little nervous I might not get in! But throughout this process I’ve realized that the word “punk” is really a catch all and being punk doesn’t mean looking a certain way at all, and I’ve embraced that. I was also slightly scared because I knew that the choreography was going to be challenging, and choreo is definitely my weak spot and where I need to improve!

My character is an extension of myself (I mean…we used our own names for the characters!). We use the word “angst” a lot to describe this show, and I think it’s accurate—for my character, I think it’s a lot of anxiety, torment and fear. My character is younger than me, and at a point where nothing makes sense—when you’re angry but you don’t even know who or what to be angry at, and so it changes based on your surroundings and sometimes on who tells you what to be angry at. Am I angry for the same reasons that Johnny is angry? Probably not, but he’s angry and we look to him for guidance, and so I’m angry too. Eventually I think we all find our own way based on those initial feelings, when we realize that we may have the same feelings but for different reasons.

Ever since I was little I was always attracted to music and plays, including after school programs. At my K-5 elementary school, there was a 5th grade musical every year—I got to be the lead in “The Phantom of the Music Room,” which is a 45 minute musical made for kids. Google it, riveting plot line. My parents probably still have the VHS.

I love being involved in theater as my job isn’t very creative, so theater gives me that outlet. I love being part of a team that works together and creates something beautiful that makes people happy. And, it’s been a great opportunity to make friends. I didn’t really have many local friends before I started doing theater since I moved from out of state, so that has been wonderful.

When I am not involved in a theater production I like being active and outside—hiking, camping, being at the beach. I also enjoy cooking. My husband is far better than I am, but I have picked up a few tricks and can hold my own!

 

Show Dates Aug 28, 29, 30 and Sept 3, 4, 5 Tickets available here

Photography by: Stephanie Pappas Photography

Posted by Evelynn Decker Saturday, August 29, 2015 11:28:00 AM Categories: In the Spotlight
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