While he may be familiar with the theater world, taking the stage without an instrument in his hand is a relatively new experience for New Britain resident, Steven Siemiatkoski. That’s because playing the role of Greg in our upcoming production of Sylvia is only his second acting gig as an adult. He first took the stage as Robin Starveling/Moonshine in our recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and was such a natural that he’s back for more! We sat down with Steven recently to find out a little more about this new thespian….
What do you do for a living?
Like my character Greg, I too, work in the financial industry. I’ve walked in his shoes. We get each other.
You are new to acting, what made you decide to try it?
Acting has been a back burner idea for a while now. Up until recently, I got my theatre kicks by playing guitar in pit orchestras. Then a few years ago I started going to see more shows as a patron and I thought about giving this acting thing a try. This spring I checked “audition for a play” off my bucket list with the last show here, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was a thrill to be involved in such a great production. As I became aware of this show, Sylvia, I just knew I wanted to play Greg.
What have you found to be the biggest challenges to acting?
I thought learning lines was going to be harder than it’s turned out to be. For me it helps to break the scenes down as if they were songs. I guess that’s where the challenges lie; finding the right pacing, rhythm, and phrasing.- Also, it’s very difficult not to laugh at all the jokes! This show is funny!
You’re used to playing in the pit, how is that different? similar?
Well, they’re similar in that your job as a performer is to do your bit to help tell the story. That’s what we’re all doing here. The difference of playing in the pit is that it is generally preferable for the pit to be heard and NOT seen. And you don’t want the pit off book. Just no.
What do you think the theme of Sylvia is?
Share what you love with those you love.
What’s your favorite line or part of this show?
I feel part of a larger pack.
Describe your character.
Greg’s a dreamer. He’s come to realize he’s got a yearning for something basic. Some essential need that can’t be fulfilled by the trappings of modern society. Greg needs something real.
How are you similar to your character?
I’d like to stick with my previous answer. One way we differ is that I have cat, not a dog. He’s an indoor cat. Grey Tuxedo. He’s all dressed up with no place to go. It’s like living with a lazy butler.
What do you like about HITW?
This is where I first started playing pit gigs. Back in the 90’s, first Jesus Christ Superstar then Hair. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for this theatre. More recently, over the past few years I have seen some truly remarkable productions here. I wanted to be part of that magic.
Why should people come see this show?
Unless you’re allergic to laughing or hate dogs there’s no reason NOT to see this show. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to hug dogs.
And most importantly…if you were a dog what type of dog would you be?
I think I’d like to be one of those service dogs. Noble creatures, no doubt. But the perks! They get VIP access to all sorts of places normal doggies can’t get into.
Sylvia runs September 16th-October 8th with Friday and Saturday shows at 8:00 P.M. and one 2:00 P.M. show September 25th.