Staff Spotlight: Carter Miller, Director, WCTV

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First Show at WCT: Phantom of the Opera and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!
Where did you go to college?  What did you study?: Syracuse University for English, and years later Middlesex Community College for theatre.
Favorite shows/roles?: At WCT? Each one has been unique and memorable! I feel like I get a chance to grow and try new things every time we meet!
What is your most memorable WCT moment? Not to get too sappy, but a parent (you know who you are!) told me recently how much of a positive influence I am on their child and thanked me for being a role model. For me, this encompassed so many memorable moments watching our actors and techies grow and learn. It is truly an honor to be part of their lives. Okay, done with the sap!
How did you first get involved with WCT? I was just out of a professional internship in lights and sound with Merrimack Repertory Theatre when the technical director position opened up. I don’t remember how I heard about it; probably through a mutual friend I share with Erica Berman. Anyway, I applied, interviewed with Peyton and Deidre, convinced them to take a chance on a relatively inexperienced but passionate me, and the rest is history!
 
What is one word that best describes a WCT participant? Collaborative.
What are you currently reading? I started reading Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series “The Wheel of Time” when I was a teenager. Twenty years later, the final book released this past January, and in honor of the occasion I restarted the series from the beginning and am around 12 books in!
What is your favorite movie? Who can answer that? I’ll go with Lord of the Rings extended editions if you allow me a trilogy…
What is your favorite play/musical? “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” by Tom Stoppard for a straight play, and “Into the Woods” for a musical!
Whats currently at the top of your playlist? Podcasts. I listen to a LOT of podcasts.
What do you hope to be doing 5 years from now? More of the same please! Working with passionate people who love what they do. I’m lucky enough to be one of those people! I get to work in lights, sound, sets, and even direct from time to time! I do miss being on stage though… maybe a little more of that?
What do you do in your free time? What’s this “free time” you speak of? When I CAN get away, I’m a big old nerd… I dig good books, story-based video games, well-written television… Summertime sees me spending more time outside as well… when I’m not teching a day away in a dark room of course!
Do you have any special skills that you’d like us to know about? I have garnered a bit of a reputation amongst the WCT regulars as a ninja wizard, but I don’t like to brag…
Most embarrassing WCT moment? During “Poe Poe Poe!” there was a monologue in which Melancholy Poe waxed lyrical about how alone he was. I had a particularly appropriate light cue written in which all of the lights on stage slowly faded away except for a tight front special on him, isolating him in the space. It was lovely. Opening night, just at the start of the cue, the lamp in the special died, and Poe faded away into complete darkness until I brought up an emergency full stage wash. We fixed it for the next show, but it was certainly memorable! Sorry, Nabil!
If you could have dinner with a character from a play or musical, who

would it be and why? Argh! Too many choices! I’m going to rewrite the question and only use characters I’ve personally played… appetizers with Prince Dauntless from “Once Upon a Mattress” for his youthful optimism; main course with Dr. Thomas Stockmann from “Enemy of the People,” for despite his faults he is a brilliant and passionate man and a stirring conversationalist; a coffee after dinner on the back porch with Tom from “A Glass Menagerie” as we watched the sun slowly fade and quietly reminisced…

If you have a question for Carter, please post it in the comments and we’ll post his responses as we receive them!

Staff Spotlight: Josie Bray, ArtVenturers II Director

For the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting our summer staff.  Summer programs are still enrolling, so if you’re excited to work with the staff members you see profiled here, visit our website and sign up!

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First Show at WCTGood News 

Where did you go to college? What did you study?: Emerson College.  I studied dance and then theater studies.  I also went there for grad school and studied theater education.

Favorite shows/roles?: My favorite show of all time is Little Shop of Horrors.  I did it at WCT one summer and also did it professionally.   My favorite show is any show that has a team of thoughtful, kind, creative collaborators who love working together.

What is your most memorable WCT moment?  On the positive side, I will never forget the first year I directed Broadway Live…we pulled off an amazing performance and created a show out of nothing.  It was so fun and I was really proud of all the students.

On the negative side, I will never forget a disaster when I directed Seussical…the piano player played so fast that the actor couldn’t keep up!

How did you first get involved with WCT?   I started working at WCT in January of 2002 when I was in graduate school.  Kristan Burke interviewed me to be a choreographer.  This was back when WCT didn’t have a home base and all of our programs were in the public schools.  I thought it would just be a little job to get me through grad school, and look at me now!  I kept working here every summer when I lived in New York City and more than 10 years later I’m still doing shows here!

What is one word that best describes a WCT participant? Enthusiastic

What are you currently reading? Jacob have I loved by Katherine Paterson

What is your favorite movie?  I have many.  Harold and Maude is a classic.  Recently I fell in love with Cloud Atlas.

What is your favorite play/musical? Like I said, Little Shop.  But again, hard to just choose one.  Into the Woods,  Ragtime, Follies, West Side Story are a few of my favorites.

Whats currently at the top of your playlist?  “Let it Go” from the Movie FROZEN

What do you hope to be doing 5 years from now? Opening a new musical on Broadway.

What do you do in your free time?  Free time?  I make Theatre…that seems to take up most of my time.  But I also practice yoga, play with my 3 year old, cook, and read.

Do you have any special skills that you’d like us to know about? I can juggle multiple jobs.

Most embarrassing WCT moment?  I think that would have to be the too-fast-music moment I mentioned before from Seussical.

If you could have dinner with a character from a play or musical, who would it be and why?  The Cat in the Hat, because I would love to meet a real, live trickster.

If you have a question for Josie, please post it in the comments and we’ll post her responses as we receive them!

Staff Spotlight: Dawn Scaltreto, Teaching Artist, Artventurers II

First Show at WCT: I worked on sets for Jake’s first show, Peter Pan. He was one of the pirates, and I helped paint the pirate ship scenery!Where did you go to college? What did you study?: I went to Cape Cod Community College and was Liberal Arts but did a lot of theater, acting and scenic painting. Then I went to New England School of Design and studied illustration.

Favorite shows/roles?: I got to play Fastrada in Pippin – best role ever! But I also loved playing Lola in Damn Yankees – I still love to sing “Whatever Lola Wants”!

What is your most memorable WCT moment? Too many to count but I loved seeing Jake play Harry MacAfee in WCT’s Bye Bye Birdie (I think 1999). He was freaking hysterical. We still watch it on DVD and crack up every time we watch him.

How did you first get involved with WCT? My son was Bill the Pirate!

What is one word that best describes a WCT participant? Soaring!

What are you currently reading? Steig Larsson’s The Girl who Played with Fire.

What is your favorite movie? I know every line to A Christmas Story. And the 70′s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

What is your favorite play/musical? Tough question! I loved working on Phantom Tollbooth, and sets for Willy Wonka were awesome to do. There was a cute little play called Taradiddle Tales that Dinah must have adapted which is a great play for little kids. Best musical might have to be Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but Into the Woods comes in a close second.

 

Dawn performing at WCT's 25th Anniversary

Dawn performing at WCT’s 25th Anniversary

What’s currently at the top of your playlist? Classic Rock! Crank it up!

What do you hope to be doing 5 years from now? I actually hope to be doing just what I am doing now, creating art, working with kids, playing music, teaching. I live a great life.

What do you do in your free time? Play Killer Classic Rock with Perfect Crime.

Do you have any special skills that you’d like us to know about? I know how to sail.

Most embarrassing WCT moment? I freaked out backstage once during Bye Bye Birdie. I thought the stage crew had set the wrong scene – a 5th grader had to talk me down!

If you could have dinner with a character from a play or musical, who would it be and why? I would have dinner with Timon and Pumbaa from the Lion King. We would eat like animals and sing “Hakuna Matata” Why? Because it sounds like fun! *Burp!*

If you have a question for Dawn, please post it in the comments and we’ll post her responses as we receive them!

Staff Spotlight: Megan Otteson, Production Stage Manager-In-Training

Name: Megan Otteson
First Show at WCT: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- (I was a W&W, aka a little)
Where did you go to college?  What did you study?: I went to University of New Hampshire and got my BA in Theatre with concentrations in Musical Theatre and Youth Drama Education.
Favorite shows/roles?: Hands down it was the touring production of Winnie-The-Pooh Birthday Tail I was in my senior spring at UNH. I was Winnie-the-Pooh and had so much fun!
Winnie-the-Pooh cast in Exeter, NH
What is your most memorable WCT moment? It is hard to pick just one since I was part of WCT for 12 years. It is a tie between Meeting my best friend and getting my first solo. My best friend and I were both in Bells are Ringing (I was in 4th grade, she was in 3rd) we were both supporting characters (I was Carla and she was Gwen). We have been best friends ever since and we call that Our Show and “It’s a Perfect Relationship” is Our Song. Whenever the show or songs appear in my life I either text or call her and we reminisce about our childhood and how much fun we had.
I got my first solo as a Little in Fiddler on the Roof when I was in 2nd grade. We had auditions to see which girl would sing the solo in our reprise of Sunrise Sunset. I remember practicing every day as soon as I knew about the solo. I remember being so nervous, but also so determined. I remember being so proud and happy when I got the solo.
How did you first get involved with WCT? My parents signed me up to be a Little when I was in first grade and was hooked from the start and performed in every show that I could up until I graduated middle school. I wasn’t ready to leave WCT so I became an ASM intern for all four years of high school.
What is one word that best describes a WCT participant? Passionate
What are you currently reading? I’m currently in the middle of several books (as per usual). Game of Thrones: A Feast for Crows The Time Riders: The Pirate Kings, and I just finished A Wrinkle in Time and am planning on reading the other books in that series.
What is your favorite movie? It is currently a tie bewteen Wreck-it-Ralph and Frozen. I love disney/pixar films.
What is your favorite play/musical? I cannot answer this in truth since it is always changing. As of 4/8/14 I am currently really liking First Date. I will also always have a special place in my heart for Bells are Ringing.
Whats currently at the top of your playlist? Which playlist? I have two playlists that I’m constantly updating, one for showtunes and one for non-showtunes. Currently the top of the Showtunes playlist is “Something That Will Last” from First Date. Top of my non-showtunes playlist is “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates.
What do you hope to be doing 5 years from nowI like to live in the moment and try and take each day as it comes. I would love to be living in my own apartment (renting or owning), working a job that I love with great people.
What do you do in your free time? What free time?? Haha! The small amounts of free time that I have I am usually just relaxing, listening to music, reading, watching youtube. Dancing sometimes creeps its way in there when I have the ability to take some dance classes.
Do you have any special skills that you’d like us to know about? Puppetry, Tap dance.
Most embarrassing WCT moment? Refering back to my first solo. The night that they video taped the performance a girl sneezed behind really loudly and it is hard to not look at her during the video. This video for the longest time was shown to my extended family whenever we showed them my performances. I have now seen that tape so many times it is ingrained in my brain.
If you could have dinner with a character from a play or musical, who would it be and why? Oh gosh, So many ideas running through my head. My gut is saying Elphaba from Wicked. I would like to have dinner with her because I think her story is fascinating (in both the books and the musical).

If you have a question for Megan, please post it in the comments and we’ll post her responses as we receive them!

Staff Spotlight: Karissa Coady, Assistant Stage Manager and Administrative Intern

Name: Karissa Coady
First Show at WCT: Peter Pan (Crocodile Cast)
Where did you go to college?  What did you study?: I’m still in high school! College is only a few short months away…
Favorite shows/roles?: Stepmother-Into The Woods, Mama Euralie-Once On This Island
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What is your most memorable WCT moment? Rancatore’s in general…
How did you first get involved with WCT? My friends were doing it, so I did it. Peer pressure works out well in some circumstances!
What is one word that best describes a WCT participant? Curious
What are you currently reading? Home: A Memoir of My Early Years By: Julie Andrews
What is your favorite movie? Annie (1982)
What is your favorite play/musical? It JUST opened, but I’ve already seen it: If/Then.
What’s currently at the top of your playlist? Chasing The Sun Sara Bareilles
What do you hope to be doing 5 years from now? I will have just graduated from college and I hope to be doing a program such as Teach For America, or maybe go
back to CITYterm and teach for a few years.
What do you do in your free time? When I am doing some form of theatre or homework, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, watching Netflix, and exploring the world.
Do you have any special skills that you’d like us to know about? Spreading sunshine wherever I go.
Most embarrassing WCT moment? The parasol moment during Into The Woods  dress rehearsal.
If you could have dinner with a character from a play or musical, who
would it be and why? Matilda, because I feel we would have a really interesting conversation.

If you have a question for Karissa, please post it in the comments and we’ll post her responses as we receive them!

I need that shoe to have a child!

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In anticipation of our Winter Black Box Musical, we asked the cast and staff to share their thoughts about the show.  For the month of January, we’ll be sharing their thoughts here on the blog.

Sara O’Connell is a longtime WCT participant. She plays the role of the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods.

1.  What do you love about  Into the Woods

I love the fantastic people I get to work with. Everyone in the show is so high energy and ready to work. The show is so extremely challenging but fun in the sense of what should be stressful and hectic environment, becomes a fun spirited and hilarious adventure. Also the music and overall story is fantastic.

2.  What should people know about the show?

Something that people should definitely know about the show is how touching it is. Sure there are lots of hilarious moments that take place on stage, but this show is really moving and I think everyone who goes to see it will leave feeling a new appreciation for something in their life that they didn’t have before.

3.  Why should people come to the show?

People should come see the show because you get to see 15 extremely talented kids work their butts off and having a blast doing it!

Into the Woods
January 31 – February 2

Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Book by JAMES LAPINE
Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
Parental Discretion Advised. For more information please call 617-926-2787.

No! Let the animal die a slow, painful, agonizing death!

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In anticipation of our Winter Black Box Musical, we asked the cast and staff to share their thoughts about the show.  For the month of January, we’ll be sharing their thoughts here on the blog.

Emily Hart is a longtime WCT participant. She plays the roles of Cinderella’s Mother, Steward, and Granny  in Into the Woods.

1.  What do you love about  Into the Woods
I love that I was able to participate in another performance with people I’ve been in many shows with before (whom I never thought I’d be in a show with again!) . This show is extremely challenging but very enjoyable for all. There is a very wide range of emotions the audience will feel throughout the performance. I think my favorite aspect of it is that it’s a very metaphorical show that can be interpreted in many ways.

2.  What should people know about the show?

People should know that everyone involved in this production worked very hard to make it happen. Although it is very long, every moment of this show is of great significance to the overall plot.

 

3.  Why should people come to the show?

 

People should come to the show because it has something for everyone: there are funny scenes, beautiful songs, strange and ridiculous situations, but also very emotional parts. It is a challenge to bring such a complex story to life.

 

Into the Woods
January 31 – February 2

 

Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Book by JAMES LAPINE
Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
Parental Discretion Advised. For more information please call 617-926-2787.