Junior Steven Wulfekuhler explains the ins-and-outs of his theatre experience
What is your history in theatre?
“This will be the 58th show that I have done, I’ve been doing theatre since I was 7. This was my 5th Holt Production. My first show was at Harry Hill High School. It was called North Pole Radio Tower, and it was a musical about people calling Santa. My first lead role was in Wind and the Willow, and that was a year into my career.”
Why do you act?
“My parents were watching football and my sister asked for me to help her act her play that she was a part of out with her, and I said, ‘Sure I don't like football’. Then I got to experience what it was like to be another person and I started to do it more and more. Now it is the greatest experience of my life.”
What goes on at a typical practice?
“First we start in the choir room and after 30 minutes have passed we go onto the stage. Now that we are closer to the show we get our costumes on, get our props, and put on our makeup. As soon as the music starts, the show begins and we wait for our queues. We go halfway [through] the show, go through our 15-minute intermission, do the rest of the show and end the practice.”
How do you guys practice now that you are separated?
“We start a scene with one cast, and one cast is in the scene shadowing movements or they are in the audience taking notes that the director gives and try to improve themselves. Then they switch. I get about 50/50 in downtime.”
Is there tension between the two casting groups?
“There is false tension, we pick on each other, the two witches pick on each other like saying they are better than the other but [it’s] just fun and games.”
How have the two different casts changed your acting?
“I was in both casts, so it didn’t impact me as much, but it made rehearsals go really slow. Every time we had to do one scene, we would have to do the same scene for the other cast."
Why are you in both casts?
“Nobody else could really play the part that I played and they didn’t need another mysterious man.”
Do you believe one casting group is better than another?
“Both of them excelled in different places. Some actors were split in the casts between acting and singing, it was kind of even. Neither was better than another.”
What was your part?
“I was the mysterious man, this crazy old man who lived in the woods and he has this son who he cursed accidentally to not have children. He’s dead and he’s in a limbo and wants to make peace with the world so he can have children... he is stuck in the woods.”
How has the director helped prepare you for the play?
“Mr. Burk and Mr. Sullivan give us guidelines to follow, but also give us a lot of freedoms to feel for our characters. If it gets out of hand they will lead us in the right direction.”
How have you pushed fellow actors to do their best?
“I run lines backstage, help with music, I help crews and the directors, I do as much as I can do.”
What is something that nobody knows happens in the theatre?
“There is a war, between the actors and techies. We act friendly towards each other but behind each others’ backs we go to war.”
What are some things people have said about your acting?
“I get many paper plate awards at the end of the show, a lot are most likely to succeed later in acting award. I am also always told I make the character come alive. When I act I go 110% and erase myself and fill myself with the character.”
Who is your actor role model and why?
“Jeff Magnesium. He is a professional actor in the Riverwalk Theatre where I actually work and he is the most amazing actor I’ve ever seen.”
You said you worked at a theatre, what do you do there?
“I’m a senior at the Riverwalk Theatre and I teach the little ones how to express themselves. I help with costume, props, and I am a motivational speaker. I help the kids be active and not so shy.”
What is your biggest fear when you are on the stage if you have one?
“I fear that other people will tense up and forget their lines but I myself have no fears.”
Do you see a future for you in the theatre?
“I do want to pursue theater as my job but it’s really difficult to get into, but also my family wants me to be a doctor.”