| Ryan Bergman
| Erich Lascek
| Billy Wayne Coakley
| Jordan Plutzer
* Member, Actor's Equity Association
FLOYD COLLINS is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals; www.rnh.com.
Come and see CMU's own Nathan Salstone as Homer Collins in Floyd Collins the musical opening this Friday, August 28th at the New Hazlett Theater. Pittsburgh trained talent on display! Get your tickets atfrontporchpgh.com or showclix. Seven performances over two weekends. Artist and Student discounts ALWAYS available.
1. Describe your experience working with your director, Rachel Stevens. Rachel has been such a bright light in the midst of such a heavy show. Her professionalism mixed with her sense of play in the room brings everyone to her side and makes everyone just want to do their best for her. She does a remarkable job of seeing pictures in her head and creating them, and the stage pictures in Floyd Collins are stunning- it’s hard not to know what’s happening at all times. It’s been a fantastic experience collaborating with her and playing under her direction.
2. What special preparation have you undertaken to understand your character? Have you ever played someone like him/her? Homer is a hotheaded character… So is Nathan. Something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about is brotherhood. I don’t have any brothers but I do have best friends that are guys that serve as my brothers. So playing with Danny(Floyd) and getting to know him better has served me so much in figuring out what it would’ve been like to grow up with a brother.
A few of us in the cast went Spelunking at Laurel Caverns in PA and it was an experience like no other. It was incredibly telling to what this play is about and the real circumstance everyone was in. I hope we can help the audience see what we see inside the cave.
3. How do you feel about working with a cast size of 13 (versus smaller or larger casts you have worked with in the past)? One less and it would’ve been too little, one more and it would’ve been too much. The cast is perfect in every bit they all have. It’s very inspiring for me seeing everyone commit 110% to every moment in the show. In my opinion it’s all the other roles that make Floyd’s journey so emotional- without them it’d be a pretty static and boring show.
4. This is your first time working with Front Porch Theatricals. Why did you choose to come out and audition for them and how is that experience going so far…? Each of the past three years in Pittsburgh I have seen a Front Porch Theatricals productions in August just as school was starting up again. This year I auditioned and was lucky enough to be chosen and I couldn’t be more grateful to be performing here going into my senior year, representing my school and having this full-circle moment.
Point Park University is well represented in the upcoming production of Floyd Collins (opening Friday, August 26th for 7 performances over two weekends at the New Hazlett Theater.) Our director is Rachel Stevens and our Choreographer is Alivia Owen (Point Park Alum), and Mason Lewis, a current PPU student is Frederick Jordan/ Reporter. He joins recent graduate Corwin Stoddard who plays Jewell Estes. Student and artst discounts always available. frontporchpgh.com or showclix.
Learn more about Mason Lewis:
1.Describe your experience working with your director, Rachel Stevens. Rachel had such an incredible energy while leading the cast through the show. Her and Alivia worked so well as a team, and they were so fun to have in the room together. Rachel has a deep passion for this show and for her work, and it absolutely shows. Every rehearsal was full of dense discussion on our text, and her wealth of knowledge in the material was very infectious. Good directors ask the right questions, and Rachel does exactly that. She's a total powerhouse, and I'm so very honored and thankful to have been able to work with her here at Front Porch Theatricals!
2.What special preparation have you undertaken to understand your character? Have you ever played someone like him? As the reporters, we had a tricky job of maneuvering through many different "shells" of characters. One scene, I'm a local Kentuckian in Barren County, and then a few scenes later I'm a director's assistant, right into being a reporter, etc. It's been a great stretch to have to be so malleable, and yet also be very clear and concise with each character.
3.How do you feel about working with a cast size of 13 (versus smaller or larger casts you have worked with in the past)? The cast size has been great! It's one of the smaller ones I've been in in the last few years, and I think I'm slowly starting to prefer it. It's just enough for everyone to have their own individual attention and energy in the room, and not too many that some people get lost.
4.This is your first time working with Front Porch Theatricals. Why did you choose to come out and audition for them and how is that experience going so far…? I've loved my time here! Since moving to Pittsburgh to attend Point Park, I've seen almost all of Front Porch Theatricals shows while I've been in the city. It's been a great experience finally being able to be on the other side of the stage! The producers have been so fun, and Rachel and Alivia are such an awesome pair. I'm also super excited to be able to perform in the New Hazlett, I think it's an incredible space with so many possibilities.
Floyd Collins the musical opens on Friday, August 26th for just 7 performances over two weekends at the New Hazlett. It's ticket time atfrontporchpgh.com or showclix. And, it's time to meet Corwin Stoddard who plays Jewell Estes. A Point Park grad, he joins other PPU alum (DirectorRachel Stevens, Choreographer Alivia Owen, Alexis Retcofsky intern) and current student, Mason Lewis. Don't miss this production!
Corwin Stoddard/ Character: Jewell Estes
1. Describe your experience working with your director, Rachel Stevens. She's incredible. She has such a creative and specific vision for every single aspect of the show. It's not every day you get to work with someone so hellbent on creating a meaningful piece of theatre. In addition, she understands that creating a show is a conversation between the actor and the director; she's always willing to listen to us and incorporate it into what's happening. She knows exactly how to communicate to you not only what she wants to do, but why to do it as well. It's clear that she holds this show as close to her heart as I do.
2. What special preparation have you undertaken to understand your character? Have you ever played someone like him/her? I was actually fortunate enough to play Jewell in a production Floyd Collins a few years ago, back home in Texas. I was 17 at the time as well, the same age as Jewell, so I essentially just played an exaggerated version of myself on stage. Now that I'm older, it's a bit harder to get in touch with my juvenile self, but it's relieving (as a recent college grad) to tap back into that sense of playfulness I had back then.
3. How do you feel about working with a cast size of 13 (versus smaller or larger casts you have worked with in the past)? 13 is a nicely sized cast. You get the intimacy and closeness of smaller cast, but still feel the epic scope of story that a larger cast brings. Even though we haven't spent too much time together, being involved in a show like this that relies so heavily on human relationships that has naturally made us come together like a big ol' redneck family.
4. This is your first time working with Front Porch Theatricals. Why did you choose to come out and audition for them and how is that experience going so far…? I saw their production of Parade 2 years ago and absolutely loved it. As soon as I saw the announcement for this year's season, it was honestly a no-brainer. The chance to do one of my favorite shows with such an amazing company seemed like much too awesome of an opportunity to pass up.
Front Porch Theatricals is pleased to introduce Pittsburgh audiences toDanny McHugh in the leading role of Floyd Collins. This rarely seen beautiful musical opens on Friday August 26th for seven performances (over two weekends) at the New Hazlett. Tickets can be purchased atfrontporchpgh.com or showclix (or at the door...). Student and artist discounts available. Don't miss this production!
1. Describe your experience working with your director, Rachel Stevens. Working with Rachel Stevens has been incredible. She is the most passionate and focused director I've ever worked with. She makes me and my fellow performers better actors.
2. What special preparation have you undertaken to understand your character? Have you ever played someone like him/her? I have never played someone like Floyd before. For research I have read some books about his life (and death), and I've also gone caving at the Laurel Caverns about an hour south of Pittsburgh proper. To be in that amazing place and feel the dark, cool, peacefulness was amazing, yet knowing how quicky and easily it could turn dangerous. That definitely helped put me in the headspace of Floyd.
3. How do you feel about working with a cast size of 13 (versus smaller or larger casts you have worked with in the past)? With a cast this size, I feel like every performer gets their chance to be featured in the storytelling. I have found myself watching scene work during the rehearsal process knowing that I won't ever be able to see it again once we are actually running the show since the character of Floyd only interacts with a small group of characters.
4. This is your first time working with Front Porch Theatricals. Why did you choose to come out and audition for them and how is that experience going so far…? When I saw that Front Porch Theatricals was doing Floyd Collins in their season, I flipped out. I've known this show for a very long time and have always wanted to do it. And this is the first time I've ever had the opportunity to audition for it professionally. It was very clear from the first day of rehearsals how much people involved with Front Porch care about storytelling, and a show like this one needs that care. It's in great hands.
Meet one of Front Porch Theatricals' twelve interns Trent Soyster. Back for a second season, Trent is our assistant choreographer, working under the wonderful Alivia Owen. Get your tickets for Floyd Collins opening August 26th and running for two weekends. We love having you as part of the FPT family, Trent!
1. Describe your experience working with your mentor and the team. Alivia and I have definitely bonded working on both shows this season together. We have the same sense of humor and are both extremely excited to be working with this awesome cast and team. The shows this season were shows that I didn't know prior and I'm so happy I decided to join the team again this year! It's been an awesome experience going from a student of Alivia's at the CLO Academy, to being her assistant and creating and adjusting the choreography right alongside of her.
2. What special preparation have you undertaken to get ready for your role? I find it quite difficult to completely plan out everything choreography-wise before the cast is there in front of you. The most important thing about choreography, to me, is having a specific plan and idea in your head of what you want (and have it written down!), but then being flexible and thinking on your feet because the cast's skill set most likely will affect what choreography can actually be given and executed cleanly.
3. How do you feel about working with this cast? Team? Director? This cast is exceptional! I love watching them work, because each person has their own way of learning. I also have loved getting caught up in the story, because of the great storytellers that they are. Sometimes Rachel, director, will say something like "okay great that's a nice start!", and I'm thinking in my head "oh gosh I think that was performance ready!!" It's quite the talented bunch, and the people behind the table are all working hard to help make Floyd a success!
4. This is not your first time working with Front Porch Theatricals. What brought you back and are you pleased to be spending your summer this way? This is my fourth show that I've done with Front Porch! This internship has been a large part of my past two summers, and I've had the time of my life. The opportunity to work with professional actors in a professional company, alongside a professional mentor who is working in the theater business in their specific field is amazing! All of the mentors that I've had the pleasure of working with over these 4 shows have taken me under their wing and let me create, explore, and broaden my strengths.
Floyd Collins opens this Friday August 26th and runs through September 4th at the New Hazlett. Our incredible cast is supported by a dozen of Pittsburgh's best young people -- talented interns who are working extremely hard under the direction of a very giving Production Team. Don't miss the chance to see this musical that doesn't come around too often.frontporchpgh.com or showclix for tickets. And now meet Seton Hill's Angela Mazzocco one of our dynamic dozen...
Name of intern: Angela Mazzocco
Role: Assistant Stage Manager
1. Describe your experience working with your mentor and the team. I’m loving it! It was a bit of an adjustment for me because I am used to stage managing or being one of maybe two ASM’s, so this process has been a little more laid back than what I was used to. But once I got used to it, I really enjoyed it. I’m learning a lot about professional theatre from the stage management standpoint, having only worked professionally as an actor. Logan is wonderful and super helpful with any questions or assistance we have ever needed as well!
2. What special preparation have you undertaken to get ready for your role? I’ve had experience stage managing and assistant stage managing the past two years at my university, and have been an actor for a very long time! So I think my experiences in theater have helped me successfully do my job as an intern.
3. How do you feel about working with this cast? Team? Director? This cast was flawlessly put together. Every day, each of them inspire me to become a better performer and I can only hope that I am as wonderful to work with as an actor as they are. The rest of the production team has also been wonderful, especially Alivia and Doug whom I’ve interacted with a lot during rehearsals. Their positivity is invaluable and they are also so knowledgeable in what they are doing. As for Rachel… I literally have no words. She has been so incredible to watch. If I took nothing else away from this experience but just getting to watch her make art, I would be nothing but grateful. I’ve been interested in directing for a while, but never really thought about pursuing it, and Rachel completely changed that for me. After watching her for less than a week, I realized that that’s what I want to do, and I began taking extensive notes on the way Rachel directs. I haven’t had the chance to let Rachel know how much she has inspired me, but I did want to say that to you guys! The chance to get to work with her is honestly one I will cherish and value for the rest of my career in theater. And I can only hope that one day I can be half the director Rachel is!
4. This is your first time working with Front Porch Theatricals. Do you think it will be your only time? Are you pleased to be spending your summer this way? This is my first time, but I really hope to come back! ?