In Jane Austen’s “Emma,” Highbury, England’s own matchmaker, Emma Woodhouse, brings matrimony and misunderstanding to town in the early 19th century. Clarks Summit University’s Theatre Department will bring the story to life on October 26-28, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $8.
Get to know all the student performers before they take the stage through our cast member biographies released the week prior to the production!
Mr. Elton: Clay Salvigsen
Clay Salvigsen is taking advantage of Dual Enrollment at CSU, meaning he is earning college credits while he fulfills high school requirements. After performing in two productions through the regional Creative and Performing Arts Academy, Salvigsen has taken on the role of Mr. Elton in “Emma.” The actor takes great enjoyment out of his time on the stage, and he jumps at the opportunity of meeting new people through his theatre endeavors. His dream role would be “The Mad Hatter” in “Alice in Wonderland.”
Mr. Elton is an arrogant, stuck-up, flirtatious gentleman. While the character’s job is to annoy the audience and be unenjoyable, Salvigsen says, he is “a good addition to the piece” because he “adds another level.” While Salvigsen may possess some of the qualities of Mr. Elton, the character is much more “over-the-top.” Salvigsen believes the difficulty of the role goes beyond memorizing lines to building characteristics, all the way to physical movements, that the actor must master to display the over-the-top nature of the character. Mr. Elton, throughout the play, does not realize what he is doing wrong.
Mrs. Elton: Breanne Guiles
Breanne Guiles, a junior Communications Media major, was part of a drama club in high school and has written several plays. While her dream acting role would be “Ann Deever” in “All My Sons,” she would jump at the opportunity to direct one of her original plays in New York City. Guiles finds comfort on the stage and enjoys the atmosphere of forming relationships and gaining experience. She has found that getting to know someone else’s character has helped her understand her own character. In a world where film and social media are dominating roles, theatre allows an individual to express themselves. Guiles says, “There is something about the spectacle of drama that can’t be replaced. It’s alive, changing, and it’s beautiful.”
Mrs. Elton is written to be disliked by everyone. She is spoiled, self-absorbed, rude, irritating and stuck-up, like her husband. One of the qualities that may stand out to people is the insecurity of Mrs. Elton. Some individuals put themselves down, looking for the sympathy of others. Mrs. Elton puts others down in order to make herself feel better. The truth is, she just wants to be happy, which in her mind requires meeting society’s standards. Since the character is highly developed with plenty of personality, the role comes naturally to Guiles, although she admits, “if she was a real person, I wouldn’t be able to stand her for more than 10 minutes!” She finds enjoyment in portraying this annoying character on the stage and admires how her character will not compromise who she is. She chooses to be herself no matter what.
-Colleen Noll is a Communications-Writing major who is studying theatre practicum and plans to graduate in 2020.