Finding the courage to audition at Richmond Hill

Posted Online: June 04, 2014, 11:48 am
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By Claudia Loucks,
GENESEO – If Victor Angelo had not lost his courage to audition, he may have been on stage with the Richmond Hill Players some years ago. Overcoming his fear, Mr. Angelo auditioned this season and makes his debut with the group tonight in "The Melville Boys."

He is cast as Owen, the younger brother in the 1984 comedy written by Norm Foster. Two brothers, Owen and Lee, arrive at a lakeside cabin for a weekend of fishing and relaxation, but their plans are thrown out of whack by the arrival of Mary and Loretta, two sisters who become catalysts for a tenderly funny and unsentimental look at four lives in transition having to face difficult family life realities.

Eugenia Giebel, Geneseo, directs the show, and said: "In this modern Canadian classic, moved to the U.S., for our production, Norm Foster offers a lighthearted comedy full of vigor about brotherhood and the unexpected."

In addition to Mr. Angelo, the cast features Nathan Johnson, also of Geneseo; Dianna McKune, Cambridge, and Jo Vasquez, Davenport.

Mr. Angelo, who lives in Geneseo with his wife, Calleena, and three children (Isabella, Claudia and Vincent) said he initially auditioned to play the older brother in the play, but was cast as the younger one.

"There are few aspects I can relate to in this play," he said. "I have a younger brother, but in the play, I am the younger brother, so I try to put myself in his shoes, and I am a younger brother to my four sisters."

He is happy about landing a part with the theater group, he said, after sharing an experience from what he recalled as four or five years ago. "I was standing in line, had my paperwork filled out and after about five minutes, I walked out the door. That audition happened to be at the high school and not having enjoyed my high school years, that played into my insecurity."

Thinking back, he said he wishes he would have "stuck it out, but everyone there seemed to know each other and I did not recognize anyone." When asked what changed, Mr. Angelo said, "One of the biggest reasons I decided to audition this year was from watching 'On the Waterfront,' and the emotions that Marlon Brando evoked in me. I want to know if I can do that for somebody else."

After reading the synopsis of "The Melville Boys," at the RHP website, Mr. Angelo chose to try out.

"I feel great about being part of the play, and am enjoying the other actors," he said. "Despite my insecurities, they are very supportive and encouraging."

"This is definitely new for me, as I have not done anything in the round before and never had to consider what was going on behind me." His previous experience of being on stage has been limited to his high school years when he competed in group interpretation and played the villain Tybalt in a Romeo and Juliet excerpt. He was also in a children's production of a take on "Sleeping Beauty."

Being in front of people is not new to Mr. Angelo, though, as he is a lector at his church, St. Patrick's in Colona, where he also was in productions of "The Passion" as a narrator twice and Jesus once.

"I like to think I am not in it for the praise, I just really enjoy being in front of people and I am comfortable with it," he said.

If you go

What: "The Melville Boys."
When: Tonight through Sunday, and June 12-15, performances at 7:30 p.m. except Sundays at 3 p.m.
Where: The Barn Theater, atop Richmond Hill Park in Geneseo.
Tickets: $10, available at 309-944-2244 or


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1989 -- 25 years ago: Of all the highlights of the last 12 years, this is the greatest of all, said Dennis Hitchcock, producer director of Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, as he torched the mortgage, clearing a $220,000 loan financing the downtown Rock Island theater's beginnings in 1977.

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