A swashbuckling musical journey

| 28 Jul 2014 | 12:12

The Summer Intern Program at the Tri-State Actors Theater is ending the season on a high note — with an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic "The Pirates of Penzance" starting Wednesday, July 30.

Local performers
The program features students ages 12 to 18 and is run by Paul Meacham, Tri-State’s founder and artistic director. This season’s intern company includes: from Andover – Brandon Schoemer; from Hamburg – Hannah Conklin and Mikaela Crowell; from Newton – Emma Kimble, Alex McCully and Julianna Moorhouse; from Ogdensburg – Chelsea Horuzy; from Port Jervis – Meghan Mahaney; from Sparta – Julia Miller; and from Sussex – Emma Cahill and Albert Weitz.

The students got involved with the theater program in a number of ways.

"It was a very happy accident. My mother was asked to pick up a tricky tray donation in 2013 for my elementary school and when she picked up the tray she spoke to Paul Meacham about the program," Emma said. "I was only 12 years old and the program was for 13 to 17 year olds at the time. My mother told Paul I wanted to be an actress and he told her to bring me to the audition that weekend. I went and was accepted to the intern program."

Mikaela Crowell got involved after being inspired by another performance.

"I have been very curious about Tri-State Actors Theater ever since I saw their production of 'A Christmas Carol' with my girl scout troop some years back," she explained. "I was so impressed with Tri-State's rendition of this classic. It was fabulous. When I saw that they were offering a summer internship, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it."

Although the performers may be young, they still focus on taking a fresh approach to these classic characters.

"I make the character my own by bringing out his inner emotions and the tension he feels when faced with a conflict," Brandon Schoemer said. "I do my best to show his heroic and strong-minded side, while also bringing in his kind-hearted and gentle side towards certain characters."

Chelsea Horuzy has a more straight forward approach.

"How I make the character mine is by trying new and different things," she said. "I try to place myself into the situation and think, 'What would my character do?' or 'What's my character's objective?'"

What to expect
Mikaela thinks it will be fun for the whole family.

"When people come to see 'The Pirates of Penzance' they will see a comedic opera with a lot of funny characters and a crazy plot," she said. "The costumes and set are amazing and the whole family will love it."

Whereas Brandon thinks it is equal parts comedy and conflict.

"People coming out to show can expect a lot of things," he said. "They can expect dumb pirates and policemen, but also see a real conflict my character faces in choosing between love and honor."

Emma points out that the characters can also be very relatable.

"People can expect to relate to some of the characters because the feelings the characters have in particular moments — though blown out of proportion — are feelings you have in everyday life," she explained. "They can also expect to come and laugh."

Chelsea just thinks it will be a great night at the theater.

"When I read the script I had a smile on my face the whole time and during rehearsal — it was hard to contain my own laughter while doing a scene," she said. "This show is going to be a good one. If you like laughing, this is the show to see."