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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

December 8, 2014

Resident Actor Makes Directorial Debut With “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 10:07 am

Featured: Charleston Stage 2014-15 Professional Resident Actor Jesse Siak.


Q:  Tell us about yourself.  Where are you from and how did you get involved in theatre?

JESSE: I am from Hendersonville, NC.  I always enjoyed doing voices and performing plays in our back yard.  When I was ten, my mom decided to do something about this and enrolled me in classes at Flat Rock Playhouse in Flat Rock, NC, so that I could find a creative outlet for all my craziness.


Q:  Where did you attend school?

JESSE: I went to Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.  There, I received by BA in Theatre Education.  I have been training in theatre since I was ten at Flat Rock Playhouse in Flat Rock, NC, as well as South Carolina Children’s Theatre in Greenville, SC, under the instruction of Betsy Bisson.


Q:  You’re a second year Resident Actor.  How has your experience been as a Resident Actor and what are your thoughts on this program?

JESSE: My experience has always been pretty incredible.  I think the Charleston Stage program offers so many opportunities for artistic growth.  From performing in 6 plays each season to teaching classes for Charleston Stage’s TheatreSchool as well as in-school workshops, you are continually growing and learning.  My favorite roles have included Henry in Next to Normal, Watson in Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web, and most recently, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein.


Q:  You are also the Coordinator for the TheatreWings Apprentice Program.  What is TheatreWings?

JESSE: The TheatreWings program offers many different ways for high school students to expand their knowledge and love of the theatre arts.  The students are broken into “Concentrations” where they attend weekly classes and learn about specific areas of theatre.  The concentrations are:  Acting, Sound Production/Design, Costume Production/Design and Stage Management.  Each TheatreWings student must also be a member of at least one backstage crew during the Charleston Stage season.  Their backstage roles include, sound technician, stage management, wardrobe, and deck crew. As the TheatreWings Coordinator, I am trying to build a program where our students become multi-faceted in all the theatre arts.  We want to show them that theatre isn’t just about acting, and that many parts working together makes the theatre world go round.   I want them to be more professional students, and my goal is to fully prepare them for continuing theatre in higher education.   TheatreWings is a college prep course, and I want to send our apprentices into the world as prepared, respectable, and knowledgeable people as they can be.


Q:  Tell us about your directorial debut for Charleston Stage in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

JESSE: This has been a great experience.  It is wonderful working with such professional and talented students.  Many of these students have been in Charleston Stage’s Performance Troupe for several years.  Performance Troupe is our upper elementary and middle school acting training class that teaches about acting, dance, singing and general theatrical practices.  At this stage in the process, I have found that my cast has tremendous work ethic, technique and talent.  Some people say that directing is mainly about getting a great cast together… I don’t agree entirely, though having such an incredible group really helps!


Q:  What roles are coming up next for you with Charleston Stage?

JESSE: I am currently playing Jacob Marley/Butcher/Fezziwig/Topper in A Christmas Carol and will be playing Benjamin Cohen in The Underpants.


Featured: (left to right) Curtis Worthington as Ebenezer Scrooge and Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actor Jesse Siak as the Ghost of Jacob Marley in "A Christmas Carol."


Featured: The cast of Charleston Stage's "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."

Featured: (left to right) Veteran Actor Kyle Barnette as The Monster and Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actor Jesse Siak as Dr. Frankenstein in "The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein."

Featured: (left to right) Charleston Stage Professional Resident Actors Jesse Siak as Watson and Jacob Dickey as Sherlock Holmes in "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure."


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