Kaitlyn Terpstra, 21, grew up at Venice Theatre. It’s what sparked her theater career. Now she’s back in town for the Venice Theatre Summer Stock program, a program she’s done in prior summers, too. This time she’s back as a paid professional. Terpstra sat down with us to discuss a little more about the program and It’s upcoming “Cabaret” performance, which opens July 31. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell us about your theater background.
I started at Venice Theatre when I was 8 years old. I just started taking classes and did my first show, “The Jungle Book,” and it sort of took off after that. I did theater there until I graduated high school. Then I went to Florida State University for a year and then to State University of New York Purchase College where I’m studying conservatory acting in a BFA program for two years. I’m back this summer for Venice Theatre Summer Stock.
What is Summer Stock?
It’s a program for high school and college-aged students as a summer school to prepare them (for a career in theater during the) gap between high school theater and going out and being a professional. (I’ve done it before) We did “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Jesus Christ Superstar, but it’s all shows we’d be doing in the real world.
Coming back has been extraordinary because I always thought Venice Theatre pushed me really hard, but now that I went away and learned some extra things they are pushing me even harder. Now they are tailoring the program to fit our new and improved needs.
You’re the model of what they hope to achieve in this program, right?
I have been hired back as a professional. This is the first time they’ve done with actors. In the past, they hired professional costume and tech people. But (their initiative is to hire) kids who grew up here went off in the world, have learned extra skills and are now coming back as professionals.
What kind of an example have you set for younger actors in the program?
(In being the professional example). I want them to see that example, if nothing else. It’s that I come in early and get warmed up, I’m off-book (or memorized) as soon as possible, I’m quiet when I should be quiet, I implement notes quickly.
For readers that don’t know give us the synopsis of Cabaret:
My character Sally Bowles is a British nightclub singer and Cliff Bradshaw (played by Patrick Mounce) is a writer from America. They meet in Berlin in the ’40s during the rise of the Third Reich when Hitler is coming into power.
It’s about falling in love, coping with changing political times and deciding what are willing to look at square in the face or what we aren’t.
For tickets and more information about the production call 488-1115 or visit venicestage.com.