Thursday, January 28, 2010

Meet Lauren

Next time you call the box office at Light Opera Works you might hear a new voice. This one belongs to Lauren Robertson, our winter 2010 intern. Light Opera Works hires as many as 8 interns each year, in the office and in production. Like many of them Lauren is an actress who is also interested in the administrative side of theater.

A senior at DePaul (public relations/advertising major, theatre studies minor) , Lauren is also finishing up the conservatory program at Second City, and is currently performing there Monday nights at 8pm in the ETC Theatre.

She’s also worked as an administrative intern at the Goodman Theatre, and in a casting office, where she learned a lot about the business side of acting. Lauren says, “It was disillusioning at first, because I thought it was all about looks, and not about talent. But after a while I really learned that to be a successful actor, especially a commercial actor, you can’t take this to heart. There are a lot of talented people out there, and you have to have luck, connections, and the right look. And that’s okay.”

One piece of luck came after taking a commercial acting class. One of the clinicians for the course was casting agency owner Shirley Hamilton (that's Lauren in the link, top row), who asked Lauren if she could represent her. Through the agency, Lauren has worked in commercials, a “scary film that I won’t tell you the name of,” and in the film Public Enemies, where apparently it was difficult to take one’s eyes off star Johnny Depp, who is just as good looking in person as on the screen.

Five years from now, Lauren just wants to be working in theater. “I like being an actor, but I also love working behind the scenes. I want to be in a big city, and so far Chicago has been great.”

We’ll see how she feels after her first trip to New York, coming up in a couple of weeks. But until we lose her to the bright lights of the big city, say hi if you happen to catch her on the phone.

If you or someone you know is interested in an internship at Light Opera Works, visit our website.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Theater Trek-The Next Generation

Light Opera Works was proud to play host to a group of high school students at our recent preview performance of The Pirates of Penzance. Music teacher Jim Yarborough brought the cast of Naperville North’s production of the show (to be presented February 23-28). As Jim told us,

"It’s important to me to have the opportunity for students to be exposed to quality music and quality performances, and to work alongside professional performing artists. We've toured to both coasts and abroad, rather extensively for a public school music program, and we’ve been able to work in great venues and with great composers and conductors."

Here are some of the comments from the students about Light Opera Works’ The Pirates of Penzance:

Seeing the show a second time helped me see all of the hard work these actors and crew members and musicians have put into this. It was hilarious! I appreciated the music and the stage placement even more than before. However, even though other students may not have the chance to see the final performance, it always helps to see an example of what to aspire to. How music is played or how a character is portrayed (I seriously did not mean to make that rhyme!), it makes a great difference to have a visual of where to start. I thought it was nothing but beneficial for us to see such a talented group of people show us how it's done! I hope that the Light Opera Works will continue to do this for future high school thespians.
-Katie, cellist (who also came back and watched an actual performance)
(Katie also wondered why the orchestra members left precipitously right after the performance instead of hanging around to answer questions. We had to douse this enthusiastic young musician with a dose of cold water—the musicians are paid up to the last note; if we keep them around we have to pay them overtime! Sorry Katie, hope this doesn’t disillision you too much!)
I really enjoyed this performance of Pirates of Penzance. Seeing it performed really started my learning in the right direction. It helped me find exactly what I need to do with my character. Thank you so much for inviting us, and I hope we can come see another magnificent performance sometime soon.
-Peter, “Pirate King”

Thank you all so very much for allowing us to witness something so spectacular. I studied everything very carefully, and the show really put into perspective what I need to do to prepare for our production. The cast was phenomenal, everyone really clicked with their character, the voices were amazing, and I could definitely tell that everyone worked hard on their roles. All in all, the show is a complete success and really enjoyable!-
-Devontae, “Frederic”

It was a really great experience to see the final rehearsal of Pirates. It gave me a much better idea of what exactly we should be doing when we put on our production and it gave me a good feel of what the show should be like. I was able to watch my character and take note of what the actress from Light Opera Works did that I liked and didn't like. Seeing the rehearsal was extremely helpful for me in fully understanding where to go now, how to develop my character, and how to work with the rest of the people and things on stage.
-Rabeya, “Isabel”

Thank you, Light Opera Works, for letting the NNHS cast to come view your final dress rehearsal of Pirates of Penzance. Not only was the production extremely well done and entertaining, but it helped me start to develop different ideas of how to portray my specific character (Edith). I think what makes this show a success is the comedic timing and emphasis at the correct moments, especially when it comes to the supporting roles, such as Edith and other chorus members. Through seeing your show, I see where all the characters fit in within the spectrum of eacb scene, and the various directions a character can be taken!
-Melanie, “Edith”

If you have a high school group who would like to see an upcoming show, contact box office manager Christopher Riley during box office hours, (weekdays 10-5), 847-869-6300.