We are back for week #3 of Newsies interviews!
Newsies has a very unique cast for a musical. The ensemble could, in many ways, be considered the star of the show and the ensemble of Newsies speaks to individuality as well as to community. To help our audience members get to know each of the members of this fantastic group just a little bit better, we have 4 introductory blogs on our Newsies for you! Today is #3 and our handful of Newsies include Mathew Fricks, Loren Clark, Joseph Tumas, Abbey Sullivan, Kate Riedy, and Max Weaver.
Q #1: “Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into theatre.”
Mathew: “I’ve always loved music but I didn’t join theatre deliberately. I was forced to audition for a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat when I was 17. This is actually only my 5th show I have been in.”
Loren: “I started dancing when I was 3 and did my first real show when I was 7 years old. I did the Hobbit and I got to hold a real sword which was the coolest thing ever. But I would say I really started doing it when I was 12 and I did my first show here at Greenville Theatre. I did Oklahoma! and it was really fun and ever since then I have just fallen in love with it. Dancing is just another form of storytelling and theatre is all about telling stories so performing became very therapeutic for me growing up. Dance, music, and theatre… it was all therapy for me.”
Joseph: “The first thing that I did was a camp at SCCT for two years each summer when I was really young and then a friend at church encouraged me to audition for Aladdin. I got cast as Jafar and as the months went by I just really loved it even more. I kept doing shows at Artios and out of the 9 shows I have been in I have played almost all villains. Then, I came to audition for Newsies and I remember being so scared and nervous to audition but I got in and now here we are!”
Abbey: “It all started with dance. I’ve been dancing for about 10 years now but only started theatre last year with The Little Mermaid at the Younts Center. I have known Kimberlee for a long time now and she’s the one who exposed me to the theatre world.”
Kate: “I was around 12 years old and started doing community shows with my family. My first show was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and I played the White Witch. Both of my parents love musical theatre so it was a family push to get involved and we all just loved it.”
Max: “Well my sisters were all involved in theatre. We all go to St. Joseph's and once my eldest sister got into it she kind of just slowly pulled us all into it. I started with ushering and helping with tickets and then I started auditioning for things and was actually Humpty Dumpty in my first show. It just feels like it is natural for me to be on stage performing now. I’d love to move to New York one day and try to make it big.”
Q #2: “What is your favorite past performance credit?”
Mathew: “ Mine would have to be playing Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was back in Minnesota and it was my introduction to musical theatre. The show actually took place during a very emotional and challenging time of my life and it brought the family aspect that I wasn’t necessarily getting in other areas of my life at the time.”
Loren: “I would say Beauty and the Beast here at Greenville Theatre. That story was just so fun to tell and the audiences that we got for that show were so wonderful. Seeing all those girls in Belle dresses and their faces light up as they watched made it feel like what we were doing was important. A lot of times I feel like I get put into a box as a dancer and this show made me feel valued for every character I played in that show.”
Joseph: “ I would say Music Man with Artios. I was a freshman and the cast was filled with so many people I knew and I remember crying backstage closing night because we were losing so many great people. I was so sad to see such a memorable experience coming to an end. I played a bunch of roles in that show but everything about it was just such a great time!”
Abbey: “I would say the Christmas show I did at the Younts Center with Neil Patrick. I entered the process really late but most of the people I already knew from The Little Mermaid. I came in to choreograph and dance during the cabaret show. It was really awesome and played for one night only.”
Kate: “I would say the Miracle Worker at the South Carolina Children’s Theatre. I played Kate Keller, Helen Keller’s mom. I actually studied sign language in school and we got to go to the School of The Deaf and Blind and meet some of the students there. It was just the most incredible experience and was one where you actually felt like theatre is actually educating your audience and showing them a unique perspective.”
Max: “That’s hard because there have been roles that have been fun and there are roles that have been rewarding so I would say playing Whiteside in The Man Who Came To Dinner. I had this mustache that was a lot to work with but the character really stretched me and was very rewarding for me. I feel like my theatre teacher trusts me a lot and really encouraged me when I was in this role. But, I also loved playing the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard Of Oz. That show was definitely one of my typical character roles and I had a lot of fun with it.”
Q #3: “Who do you play in Newsies and tell me about your role and this show?
Mathew: “ I play Tommy Boy and I love that each newsie gets to be their own entity but part of a greater good. I think these audiences are going to leave more full than when they came here when they see the intricate work we have been perfecting since we began rehearsals. This show speaks so much to the power of togetherness and the impact a group of people can have. I just think this is such an awesome story and we have such different walks of life on stage, and I know all of our hard work will come together to impact our audiences.”
Loren: “I play JoJo and I am just so excited for people to see this show, and everyone in this production has worked so hard. I know people are just going to love it, and we are going to feel amazing afterwards. I grew up with siblings so I feel such a brotherhood with all these newsies and the situation that these young boys have found themselves in.”
Joseph: “I play Buttons in this show and I would say this is the one that I have had the biggest opportunity to do acrobatics in. In so many other shows that I have been a part of that kind of thing doesn’t fit the style, but this show Kimberlee basically told me, “go to town!” Plus this cast is just amazing and we have all worked really hard for this. It’s truly a whole family show and I hope everyone comes and sees it.”
Abbey: “I play Sully, which is actually my nickname in real life. I am also the dance captain. The dancing in this show makes me so happy since those are my roots. But this cast, we all work so well together and get along maybe a little too well. These people are what make it such a fun experience. There is only one time you will see this here, with these people, in this form, and it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Kate: “I play Noodles, and I just have to say the dancing! After working with Kimberlee on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat I wanted to do more with her and this show gave me the challenge. I usually start so frustrated but once I work hard to master something I feel so good and proud of myself. This show is just so enjoyable and there is just so much talent on stage that it’s gonna be so hard not to enjoy it.”
Max: “I play Mush in the show and I like it because it fits me as a person. I’ve always been very adventurous and the line “we’se as free as fishes” has always really stuck out to me. These characters are dirty and they run around and truly are, free. It’s really active and involved and if I were an audience member I would want to see it. Micah-Shane really helped each of us create our own personal stories and that helps find individuality but also keep us part of this strong group. It’s super action packed but there are some wonderful sentimental moments, like between Jack and Cruthie. John and Joel do a great job with that and I hope audiences are affected.”
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