Theatre of Western Springs Spotlight: Drew Halliday

<p>Drew Halliday &nbsp;| Submitted</p>

Drew Halliday  | Submitted

Get to know the community of Western Springs with our Theatre of Western Springs Spotlight feature!

Today we meet Drew Halliday of Hinsdale who is entering just his 3rd year with TWS.

Q: Why did you join TWS?

A: After I finished grad school, I moved back out to the suburbs. I was working full time and was hoping to avoid commuting to the city for acting classes, so I started exploring my local options. I had been to shows at TWS as a child and looked it up online. When I saw that it had a studio class that was totally free, I was thrilled. When I saw that it was taught by Artistic Director Rick Snyder my mind was blown. Being somewhat new to the theatre community and having an opportunity to work with Rick, for free, was more than I could have possibly hoped for. I signed up immediately.

Q: Go back in time. When did you discover you had an interest in theatre/drama? 

A: My close friends and I started making home movies at a very young age. Back then I didn’t put any thought into, “Oh, maybe this means I want to be an actor.” We were just kids goofing around and having a good time. These movies/class projects continued through high school, but it wasn’t until college that I considered pursuing acting. I took a class and did a student film; well, part of one, but my confidence was shaken by some less than supportive friends. When I moved back to Chicago, I gave it another shot and took some scene study classes, but it wasn’t until recently that I had the confidence to pursue this as something more than a hobby. 

Q: At TWS, do you work on crews, backstage and/or front of house?

A: TWS is great about encouraging people to get involved and making them feel welcome. Since becoming an Active I’ve been able to assist on hospitality and as an assistant director for a couple Directors’ Workshop productions. While the majority of my contribution has been on stage, working backstage is an eye opening experience. The crew works as hard, if not harder, than the actors you watch. These productions are massive undertakings with a tremendous amount of volunteer hours behind them. While I have contributed backstage, I should, and would like to do more. It’s a great learning experience and a great way to meet some very kind, knowledgeable people.

Q: At TWS, do you act on stage? Name some roles. Point out your favorite or most challenging role and tell why.

A: Since starting at TWS I’ve acted in two Director’s Workshop productions, on the main stage in this season’s “Slaughterhouse 5,” and will be appearing in the second Forum production of “Beautifully” opening on Feb. 13, 2014. Each role is a challenge in its own way, and I’m always passionate for the one that I’m currently working with. I’ve had a blast on each of the shows I’ve been in, but right now my focus is on “Beautifully,” a world premiere new show that will be seen for the first time at TWS. It’s very exciting to be a part of, and it’s great to hear feedback from both Rick and Jeff (the playwright) first hand. 

Q: What do you love about TWS? What is it about TWS that motivates you?

A: I love the dedication of all the members at TWS. It really is inspiring to see the amount of effort that goes into each production and then to realize that everyone is there because they genuinely want to be there. It’s a great community of people, and each person plays their part to support the others.

Q: Tell about something at TWS that was, is, or will be a really big thrill for you.

A: Right now I am looking forward to each rehearsal and performance of the Forum 2 production of “Beautifully.” This will be my biggest role and greatest challenge yet, and I can’t wait to bring it to life. Beyond that, the play carries a really great message that I think most people today can relate to.

List three things you have given TWS:

  • Dedication
  • Support
  • Effort

List three things TWS has given you:

  • Opportunity
  • Friendship
  • Experience
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