by Lorie Lewis Ham
Editor’s note for anyone not familiar with this show, [title of show] is the title.
This week Third Act Theatre Co. in Visalia will be presenting the musical [title of show]–it will be there first show. We took a moment to speak with those involved in Third Act Theatre Co., Executive Producers/Directors Alex Church-Gonzales, Nico Cristallo, and Vincent Paz-Macareno, about the show and how they came together.
KRL: How did it come about that you decided to produce this show and why specifically [title of show]?
Third Act Theatre Co: We grew up doing theatre in and around Visalia and wanted to do our own show and leave our mark before we left to go to college in New York for the fall of 2016. Last summer, we had a cast and were working on a show, but things fell through and it never got to perform. So, this summer is a product of fixing what needed to be fixed from last summer and still wanting to produce theatre that we loved and cared about. We chose [title of show], specifically, because it s a story of friendship and never giving up, which really resonated with us. It’s also a theatrey show created by theatrey people about theatrey people, and we wanted to give a cast the opportunity to explore that within themselves.
KRL: It is my understanding that you formed this theatre co just for this show, is that correct? Do you think you may do more shows in the future?
Third Act: We actually formed Third Act last summer in anticipation of that show. But this is our formal musical debut with [title of show]. We honestly don’t know if we will continue to produce shows. This is a company created and ran by college students, so our lives and schedules are very much in flux right now.
KRL: What is your own background in theatre?
Third Act: I started doing musicals with the Tulare County Office of Education when I was seven and continued with them through my senior year. I’ve also performed in and designed shows with El Diamante High School. I am currently a sophomore student studying Directing at Pace University in NYC and am developing a show to take abroad to an international theatre festival in Summer of 2018.
I started performing regularly when I was 10 years old in school plays. A few of my notable roles are Beast in Beauty and the Beast, George Banks in Mary Poppins, Monsieur Firmin in The Phantom of the Opera, to name a few, and I’m currently preparing to play Billy Nolan in Carrie with Selma Arts Center at the end of July. I directed my first production, The Black & White Party, when I was 15 and a sophomore at Redwood High School; since then I’ve directed and music/vocal directed multiple productions on the community and collegiate level. I’m currently double-majoring in Musical Theatre and Directing at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.
I have been doing theatre since I was in the 2nd grade through school productions and then in the 6th grade moved to community theatre through Encore Theater in Tulare. I did multiple productions while attending El Diamante High School on stage and behind the scenes.
KRL: Who are you working with to produce this show and how did that come about?
Third Act: [title of show] is directed by Alex Church-Gonzales, Nico Cristallo, and Vincent Paz-Macareno. Nico is doing most of the blocking in the show, and he has a brilliant mind for comedy. Vincent is the music director. Alex is head choreographer, but we all work collaboratively on every scene. Our associate producers are Britany Saare and Hayley Nelson. They are so helpful with planning fundraisers, and we love them dearly. This specific team came about simply because we’re friends who love working together and love creating theatre.
KRL: What has been the most fun in putting [title of show] together?
Third Act: My personal favorite part of the process is seeing our cast grow as characters. [title of show] is a very naturalistic show because the people who wrote it are the characters themselves. It’s a meta show about its own creation, and it’s wonderful to get to see the cast in the show play the creators of the show itself.
KRL: What is the most challenging?
Third Act:The most challenging part is probably having to cover all of the bases ourselves. More established theatre companies have larger production teams with people to specialize in costumes, technical aspects, etc. We have experience in all of these aspects, but it’s a lot of hats to wear on top of directing and producing.
KRL: Who is in the cast?
Third Act: Jason Bionda is Hunter; Chase Canterbury is Jeff; Elisa Melgosa is Heidi; Jessica Knight is Susan. All of them currently attend or have just graduated from El Diamante High School and have performed in their musicals/theatre productions, as well as with Theatre Arts Alliance and Tulare County Office of Education.
KRL: What are your future goals in entertainment?
Third Act: I, personally, would consider myself successful if I get to the point in my life where I can live off of doing theatre. I don’t need to direct the next Broadway hit, although I wouldn’t turn it down if the opportunity arose. I just want to create something that makes people think. I love theatre for very young audiences and ASL theatre, and could see myself specializing in directing something like that in the future
I hope to become a member of the Actor’s Equity Association and be able to perform for a living, while also occasionally directing and producing projects that matter to me.
This is a difficult question because I am the only one out of the three of us not studying theater in college. I am pursuing a biology degree at UC Santa Barbara which makes performing different for me. I am still auditioning and performing in Santa Barbara and at UCSB so my life in theatre will mainly be within school and community theatre. This being said if my theatre career expands past this, I would not hesitate to pursue it further.
KRL: What are the dates, times, and locations for this show?
Third Act: [title of show] runs July 14-16 at the Arts Consortium, 300 E. Oak Ave., Visalia. The shows start at 8 p.m. each day, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
KRL: Where can tickets be purchased?
Third Act: Tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper tickets title.bpt.me and at the door. They are $5/each.
KRL: Do you have a website or social media fans can find you?
You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section.