Features

Acting Like A College Student

KATRINA HOUGH

STAFF WRITER

   The Pinewood Performing Arts Department has been booming with success in the past year; the department put on the first high school production of “Whisper House”, invited a Tony-winning composer Duncan Sheik to perform, and sold out three full weekends of “Les
Miserables.” For Pinewood alumnus Garrett Biggs, Sarah Barrus, and Talmage Wise their success in theater at Pinewood was just the
beginning of their careers on and off stage. These
Pinewood alumnus are now pursuing roles on bigger stages in college. First, alumni Garrett Biggs, class of 2013, who played the role of Max Detweiler in the 2013 spring production of “The Sound of Music,” has recently taken on the lead role of Konstantine in The University of Denver’s
production of “The Seagull.”

   “It is one of the most classic plays in the theatre canon, so getting to play Konstantine was a once in a lifetime opportunity. There’s this great scene where it’s silent on stage for two whole minutes, and all I do is rip up
manuscripts in the midst of a nervous breakdown, so that was really fun,” Biggs said.

   Not only has he participated on stage, taking on
challenging new roles, Biggs has also produced his own plays at The University of Denver this month.

   “It’s so incredible to see actors discover things in your scripts that you may not have even realized you are
doing. Plays are, of course, made to be performed out loud, so getting to watch that next step in the process develop is a really special feeling,” Biggs said.

   In the meantime, alumni Sarah Barrus, class of 2013, while not planning to take the front stage anytime soon, is taking on the job as Head Stage Manager of Brigham Young University’s new production of “The Count of Monte Cristo”. Barrus stage managed both productions of “Xanadu” and “The
Sound of Music.”

   In this production Barrus will have the experience of working alongside Frank Wildhorn, the Broadway composer of the musical. Last summer, Barrus was also the
Assistant Stage Manager of Spencer and Shenelle
Williams’ “For Tonight” in New York.

   “Working in New York was exhausting, but it pushed me to work as hard as I could, and I am grateful for that. It helped that Mr. Williams had always held me to a high standard. As a stage manager at Pinewood, I was expected to act like a professional, and that made a huge difference in terms of preparation when I reached BYU,” Barrus said.

   Alumni Talmage Wise, class of 2014, also received the lead role of Man in the Chair in the musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” at Columbia University in New York. While attending Pinewood, Wise took on lead roles such as Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” and Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables.”

  Wise also performed in the production of “For Tonight” this summer, making his theater debut in the big city as soon as
he arrived.

   “The production of ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ is
being put up by the Columbia Musical Theatre Society, so it’s entirely student run. It’s really cool to be working with a creative team who are only a few years older than me, and I can learn so much from them because they’ve been through everything I’m going through this year,”
Wise said.

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