An Inside Look at TheatreWings, with Sayde Handegan

Meet Sayde Handegan: a budding actress, TheatreWings member, and student at Wando High School. We recently sat down with her to offer you a closer look into our TheatreWings program, a free, pre-professional apprentice program for high school students committed to learning the craft of backstage theatre design and management. We also had the joy of watching her perform as “Ladybug” in our summer teen production of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach! Here from Sayde herself:

You just finished performing in our production of Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” as Ladybug. How did you prepare for the role? I had a blast playing Ladybug in “James!” The biggest challenge in playing this character was the accent. Naturally, I speak with a standard American accent. and when rehearsals started, I had never performed with a different accent before. My character specifically had a posh British accent, so when I had downtime at rehearsal, I listened to people speaking this specific accent to hear their particular inflections. Eventually, I landed on an interview with Emma Thompson and that was it–her accent was perfect for Ladybug. I watched a ridiculous amount of her interviews to prepare for the role! Physically, the preparation was straightforward, as I didn’t have a very dance heavy track. 

What is your favorite Charleston Stage memory? I have so many wonderful memories with Charleston Stage! I’ve always had a great time working with the company. Four of my favorite memories are being a dresser for the production of Bright Star in season 44, learning stage combat for The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, singing Wicked with Cedar (2nd year Resident Actor) at WingsWeek, and the whole “James” experience.

How are you looking forward to growing as an artist in TheatreWings this year? This year I am a part of the costume design concentration. During the past year I’ve been trying to teach myself to sew and make clothing, so I figured this would be a great way to learn! At the high school I attend, I am the production manager of the school’s theatre program this academic year. My responsibilities include head of stage management, costumes, and props, so to help me succeed more in my job, I decided it would be good to learn the art of designing, making, and maintaining costumes. 

What did you learn in TheatreWings last year that was new to you? Last year I was a part of the stage management concentration, but got assigned to be a dresser for Bright Star. Being in stage management, I had no clue what a dresser did for a show. I learned all about this role’s responsibilities during tech week and ended up being in charge of all the mens costume changes for the show! It’s one of my favorite theatre experiences ever!

What is your favorite show of all time? Another hard question! My favorite show that Charleston Stage has produced is “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.” My favorite Broadway show is “Finding Neverland”.

Sayde has been working with Charleston Stage since 3rd grade with their classes, Performance Troupe, and High School TheatreWings Program. She is a Junior at Wando High School and production manager of Wando Theatre. Some of her favorite roles include Katie Travis (School of Rock), Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz), Ryan Evans (High School Musical, On Stage!), and a supporting role in PYPO’s Spelling Bee. She’s very excited to play Eurydice in Wando Theatre’s production of Eurydice this Fall. You can find her at saydehandegan.square.site and on Instagram at @saydejhandegan

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