Under the Spotlight with Music Theatre Senior Gage Patterson ’17
By Madison Kobe ’18
As J-Term comes to a close next week, the Music Theatre Workshop crew is preparing for their production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. This is the perfect way to start a new semester, especially since Carthage has not presented a Disney piece before. The excitement of bringing a whole new world to Carthage and the anticipation of what could be next fueled my interview with Music Theatre senior Gage Patterson ’17.
How has working on this production been different from past projects?
This project has been different because it is the first time that we are getting to do Disney here at Carthage. It is its own sort of style which is different from most of the other shows we have done here in the past. It is a great challenge and opportunity because there are so many Disney musicals out there now and this is a great chance to experience some of the magic.
What has been a highlight of working on this show?
A highlight of mine for this show is being able to play a sort of ridiculous funny character Scuttle. My other roles this year have and will be much more serious which is great, but it is nice to just be able to go to my comfort zone again, and make people laugh. I also have the pleasure of working with internationally known director Maggie Spanuello and that is truly an honor. She has given me so many opportunities to grow as a performer as well as personally and that is something that I will carry with me always and I am truly thankful for.
What obstacles have you faced with this particular production?
As with any Music Theatre Workshop production there are the challenges of not having the same amount of resources as other shows on the mainstage. This calls for everyone involved in the show to step up and fill more rolls than just actor. The sense of ownership that this gives the cast over these shows is remarkable.
What is your favorite part of being involved in musical theatre?
My favorite part of being involved in musical theatre, and theatre in general, is that I get to be all of these different people, but there is still a hint of me in all of them. Each character that I play is unique, but the performance is very me.
What made you want to pursue musical theatre?
I have been involved in theatre from the ripe old age of six. There was never really a question to me of whether or not I would be involved in theatre. I had originally planned to be a lawyer, but I still had a Music Theatre major and I guess that just sort of won my heart.
How will working on this production better prepare you for getting a career after college?
This production will give not only me, but everyone involved the chance to work on a Disney musical, which are huge right now. There is no doubt that at some point I will be working on something Disney related and this production will have helped me to better understand that style.
What are your current plans for after Carthage?
I have some big auditions scheduled for the coming month so fingers crossed that something good comes from those.
What advice would you give to someone considering pursuing a career in theatre?
It is a lot of hard work, but it is truly a gratifying experience. Being able to share amazing stories with an audience and take them away from their problems for a couple of hours is remarkably rewarding. This is a sort of feeling that not everyone gets to experience so enjoy it. Also, the people that you meet in the theatre really are some of the greatest that you will ever meet. Foster these relationships carefully, as many can lead to work, but more importantly, they lead to lifelong friendships.