2 teen casts take on musical ’13’ at Act Out Theatre in Dunmore Oct. 15-17
From a press release:
Act Out Theatre Group will present the musical “13” in Dunmore on Friday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 17. The Jason Robert Brown production is double cast and features actors from both Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.
“Double casting is something we regularly do at Act Out,” said Dan Pittman, the theater’s owner and artistic director.
“Double casting lets the actors have the opportunity to play different roles in the production, depending on the show. Because we are a workshop theatre group, the double casting allows us to provide more opportunities to the individuals involved.”
The production is a coming-of-age musical that centers around Evan Goldman, played by Max Snyder of Maddison Township and Tate Elliott of Bear Creek Township, who is preparing for his bar mitzvah in the middle of his parent’s divorce. In addition, he is made to move from New York City to Appleton, Indiana, where he soon learns that making friends isn’t as easy as one might hope.
Sarah Rose Pugliese (Wilkes-Barre Township) plays Patrice, one of the first people Evan befriends in the musical. Pugliese shares the role with Emma Christianson (Wilkes-Barre).
“Patrice has been one of my dream roles ever since I saw the show when my brother [Rocco] was in it in 2017,” Pugliese said. Rocco Pugliese played Evan Goldman when Act Out produced the show four years ago.
“It was a show that just caught your attention and made you want to keep watching it. Now that I get to play the role of Patrice, I am very happy to share the same experience I had with people that come see the show.”
Pittman said the show is a popular one among the young people with whom he works.
“Some of them really enjoy the music of Jason Robert Brown,” he noted. “Others like the fact that they can relate to the storyline. It offers a realistic amount of the serious and the silly.”
Z Davitt (Archbald) and James Louiso (Kingston) play Archie in the musical. Archie wants a date with the popular Kendra, played by Keely Zabresky (Bear Creek Township) and Maddan Bennett (Throop).
“’13’ relates to my experiences growing up because of all the cliques and popularity in middle school,” Davitt shared.
“I think the most challenging aspect of the show is trying to see the world through my character’s eyes.”
Pugliese also found getting into character as the most challenging aspect of being in the show.
“I am 16 now and I already went through those changes, so I know how to express those feelings, but I have to express them with a younger mindset, rather than how I would express them now,” she explained.
“When you are turning 13, you think you are so much older than you are and you feel as if you are an adult, but in reality, you are just starting to learn new things and not even changing that much from when you were a pre-teen.”
In addition to Snyder, Elliott, Pugliese, Christianson, Davitt, Louiso, Bennett, and Zabresky, cast members of “13” include Samantha Greenfield (Old Forge), Emilia Gabello (Dunmore), Macie Bennett (Throop), Jason Berlew (Wilkes-Barre), Lorcan Baden (Taylor), Benjamin T. Gruden (Plains Township), Gabriella Cigarski (Throop), Dennis Lee (Larksville), and Ava Nitch (Scranton). Seven of those actors are simultaneously rehearsing for “Seussical Jr.,” coming up in November at Act Out.
“13” runs at the Act Out Theatre (150 E. Grove St., Dunmore) for one weekend only, Oct. 15-17. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.
Tickets, which are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, must be purchased in advance by visiting actouttheatre.com or emailing email@example.com. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, audience sizes are limited.
“[The show] relates to my experiences growing up because of all the drama and learning who you are,” said Maddan Bennett, one of two identical twins in the cast.
“I think people should come see ’13’ because it’s a lot of fun to watch and some people may relate to it.”
“People should come to see this show because it is hilarious and will make you laugh, but it will also get in touch with your deeper feelings and may even make you tear up.
“It’s a perfect combination of everything that makes a show so special.”