Home Burlington Twp. News Curtain call: Riverfront actors take center stage

Curtain call: Riverfront actors take center stage

In speaking about theatrical performances, multiple actors spoke about the audition process and what happens after the role is selected.

“Hello Dolly” cast members outside of Samuel Ridgeway Middle School

Samuel Ridgeway Middle School has been a meeting place, attracting those from across the Burlington County area to come together and share their passion for the stage.

Over the course of a month, the cast members from Riverton Community Players have practiced for this August’s performance of “Hello Dolly” and are preparing for yet another show in two weeks, “In the Heights.”

In speaking about theatrical performances, multiple actors spoke about the audition process and what happens after the role is selected. Rejection is inevitable, but it should not deter someone from their passion in regard to acting, according to actress with the Riverton Community Players Adriana Santilli.

“No matter how many noes you are going to get, there’s always going to be that one rewarding yes,” Santilli said. “That’s a whole mantra I have held throughout my life doing theater.”

As a musical theater major at Rowan University, Santilli was thrilled to join Riverfront Community Plays and Players a year ago. Santilli, who plays Minnie Fay in the organization’s production of “Hello Dolly” this upcoming weekend, said she has fostered friendships throughout her year with the group and looks forward to more performances with the organization.

“We are all super close,” Santilli said. “Backstage, it is as if you were hanging out with all of your friends … a lot of goofing around.”

With nearly 60 years of experience in theater, one of the group’s directors, Linda Golden, has had the pleasure of working with Riverfront Community Players since its inception four years ago. According to Golden, every play performed by the Riverfront Community Players is a product of hard work and the application of valuable lessons regarding acting.

Some of her biggest lessons she had learned in decades of being in the industry is to be open to new experiences.

“Don’t go into an audition with a closed mind,” Golden said.

Golden encourages all actors and actresses interested in pursuing the career to be receptive to the director’s vision, along with any new roles that are offered.

According to Golden, going to school for acting is only one aspect of the bigger picture. A large part is having the courage to get on stage, no matter how big or small the role is.

Cinnaminson resident and actress with the organization Jaclyn Clark said Riverfront Community Players has given her the platform to express herself. Since the age of 11, 32-year-old Clark said she has learned to “go with her gut” and use personal experiences to evoke certain emotions in her roles on stage.

“Most of what you see on stage and building character, you are kind of drawing from your own experience,” Clark said.

Clark encourages people to come out and see the talents of her fellow cast members as the show is local and easily accessible.

“It’s nice to have our location here,” Clark said.

The organization provides the opportunity for those in and around the area to be a part of an acting community, while giving residents a place to enjoy the theater.

“It’s nice to have something in this area which you might not normally find,” Clark added.

Echoing Clark’s thoughts, Golden also believes Riverfront Community Players will give audience members a chance to see local talent in a convenient spot.

“We have a lot of talent,” Golden said. “You will get so much more than your money’s worth when you come to see us.”

The next performance by Riverfront Community Players will be, “In The Heights,” on Aug. 17 and 18 at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church inBurlington, 1308 Mt. Holly Road. Times are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be $15 and can be purchased at the door or online at https://www.onthestage.com/show/riverfront-community-players/plaza-suite-4030/.

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