BV Thespians branching out to Theatre in the Park productions this summer

Maddie Jewett, Features Editor

Four BV students were cast in musicals at Theatre in the Park (TTIP) this season: juniors Ryan Casey, Lorelle Katz and Andrew Thompson, and freshman Lance Jewett.
Casey, who will play the role of Paulie in Hairspray, said he wanted to audition mainly for his love of theater.
“I plan on doing [theater] as a career in my future, so I thought it would be fun,” he said. “Also, I absolutely love Hairspray, and that is one of the shows this summer, so I decided to audition.”
Junior Lorelle Katz, specialty dancer in Damn Yankees, said she wanted to audition because of the dance aspect of the musicals this summer.
“I think it will give me more experience dancing outside of a studio and school,” she said. “It also gives me the chance to meet new choreographers and make more connections as a dancer.”
Casey said he is excited to work with new people.
“That’s one of the things I like about theater — that you can work with people you have never heard of,” he said. “It’s a good lesson because in the real theatre world this is how it works — you never perform with the same cast twice.”
Junior Andrew Thompson is a specialty dancer in Damn Yankees this summer at TTIP.
“The opportunity to work with such a professional directional staff and a great group of performers was too attractive to pass up,” he said. “I am so psyched.”
This year, students auditioned for TTIP at BV.
“It was really calming because I actually go to school here,” Casey said. “The singing audition was in the choir room and the dance in the PAC, so it was really sort of a home field advantage.”
Casey said the strength of the theater department here at BV played a role in the outcome of auditions.
“Well, there were actually only three other BV people that got called back,” he said. “But it was exciting, because it showed that we are doing something right here in the BV theatre department, and it shows that we really are a very talented group.”
Since Theater in the Park is an outside venue and audience members bring blankets and lawn chairs and sit on the ground, Casey said this will be different than what he is used to.
“I have never done Theater in the Park before, but I have performed outside, and it is difficult,” he said. “You really are subject to the weather because they don’t cancel if it is sprinkling or if it is freezing cold.”
Casey said he is looking forward to everything about the Theater in the Park experience.
“I am looking forward to being able to perform again because theater really is my life. I eat, sleep and breathe theater. I’m also looking forward to working with a new group of people in a new location with a new director.”