As soon as the curtains open in the theatre, boys and girls are living out the lives of their characters, and they don’t stop until those curtains close again at the end. Dripping Springs junior, Connor Bailey, got to take part in that, night after night, during this past summer for Summer Stock Austin at Rowland’s Theater at The Long Center.
“Bringing the characters to life, and getting the audience to become attached to them,” is what makes it all worth it for Bailey, when asked about the thrill of performing.
“If you can get them to laugh in the process, then that’s just even more of a bonus,” Bailey said. “When the little kids come up to you at the end of a show and they’re so amazed at what has just happened, it’s one of the best feelings for me.”
Bailey took part in two out of the three musicals performed last summer, the first being a musical by the name of Carnival with Gower Champion directing. Bailey played a sleazy souvenir peddler named Grobert.
“It was a difficult and different role to play,” Bailey said. “Grobert was a sexual creep to the woman in his scenes, so after each scene, I had to make sure everyone was okay, since it can be a very touchy subject and create just as intense moments.”
Bailey also played the part of a puppet by the name of Horrible Henry, an alter ego of the early antagonist from the play, but this puppet cares greatly for the heroine/protagonist of the production.
The second foray was a brand new musical The Steadfast Tin Soldier by the creative mind Allen Robertson of The Biscuit Brothers. This is where Bailey learned how to properly run a light board, along with the rest of the cast who also doubled as the crew.
“I would definitely recommend any form of Summer Stock Theater to other actors,” Bailey said. “The community is fantastic. You get to push your acting to a whole new level, and there is an incredible amount of people there to support you the entire way. Plus there’s so much more fun stuff involved than just the productions, some stuff I shouldn’t mention, and lots of memories to last forever.”
Bailey quit T-ball when he was 5 and attended his first acting camp. Since then he has fallen in love with acting. You may have seen him as Mercutio in the 2015-16 DSHS production of Romeo and Juliet. This is a guy who is genuinely passionate about what he is doing.
He is also involved with the DSHS Performing Arts, and said that there is a ton of things to look forward to in this coming school year. Including, but not limited to, Noises Off! and the DSHS Musical Production: My Fair Lady. Bailey and the rest of the future casts hope to see you there.
Written by Giselle Galletti