I’m so excited to bring you the star for this week! Erin Gilbert is a dear friend that just happens to run the best children’s theater program in Frederick County! Her company, ACT TOO! puts on several productions each year for children ages 7-18 at their new location Frederick LIVE! Theater, tucked away conveniently behind Common Market, accessed off of Industry Lane.
Act-Too welcomes and encourages all children for their productions. Auditions are held but only to determine which role is best for each child. Whether your child is a future rock star or wants nothing to do with singing, there is a place for each child.
Auditions are about to begin for their next production, The Phantom Tollbooth. Rehearsals will begin the last week of January. If your child has the tiniest bit of interest in acting, register today! You won’t regret it!
Now on to Miss Erin’s questions:
What’s your favorite part of being a business owner?
ACT TOO! has given me the opportunity to share my love of theater with so many children. Because it’s my business, I’m able to have the creative freedom to choose the productions and programs that best serve our community’s young budding actors. It also allows me to select staff that share my vision of what youth theater should represent. This includes teaching young actors the responsibility of being a performer, dedication to their craft and ensemble, involving them in all aspects of theater, including tech, and providing opportunities for them to perform, intern, volunteer and grow as performers and individuals. Even more importantly, ACT TOO! provides a place to young performers where they feel welcome, can be themselves without being judged or teased, and the opportunity to form new and lasting friendships doing what they love.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
That would be a cross between “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand and the movie “Hair” with Treat Williams. Having grown up doing theater since a very young age, I was disappointed in my own high school drama program. Unlike the thriving drama programs we have here in Frederick County, where I grew up we were not so lucky. I made the most of it though, and thoroughly enjoyed directing (Senior Directed Plays) and came away from the experience with an amazing love of Fanny Brice. One afternoon our theater teacher put on a movie for us to watch. It was “Funny Girl”. I literally hung on every word and lyric. Typical of Hollywood, liberties were taken in the portrayal of Fanny’s rise to fame, relationship with Nick Arnstein and the real nature of his criminal involvement. I still loved the story! In a time when all actresses were beautiful and sultry, Fanny broke the mold with her voice and comedic flair.
As for “Hair” I was probably in Junior High when I first saw the rendition starring Treat Williams. Even though I preferred plays to musicals at that point in my life, I became absolutely obsessed with the songs from “Hair”. I listen to the soundtrack nearly every day….that and the “Newsies” soundtrack. Now THAT is a Broadway must-see! It’s absolutely flawless!
What are your big dreams for the future?
My dreams for the future would be to continue upgrading our rehearsal and performance space, Frederick LIVE! Theater, so that ACT TOO! can accommodate as many performance opportunities and programs as possible for the youth of Frederick County, as well as other community performing arts groups. We’ve come a long way already and I hope to continue to grow the eight year old business over the coming years. I’d like to involve even more of the community in the good work that we do. I hope to offer our students new and exciting projects that keep even our most seasoned young artists challenged and engaged. The potential opportunities are so vast. On stage and behind the scenes, kids can become involved using their theatrical talents, visual arts, tech, design, film, art, music, dance and SO much more!
Hope to see YOU at rehearsals in a few weeks!