HCC THEATER STUDENT FORMS ACTING COMPANY
 
By Brandon T. Bisceglia
 


BRIDGEPORT
– When Milford’s Kevin Green steps onto the stage April 16 at the Bridgeport Innovation Center, it will represent the high point of his blossoming acting career.

               He’ll be playing a lead in the Pulitzer prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, the story of two brothers: one who is trying to leave his life as a con man behind and another who is ready to step into his place. The play is being performed by Resonate, a professional acting company Green cofounded.

For Green, who began his studies at Housatonic in the Spring, 2007 semester, it’s the next rung on a career ladder that, two years ago, Green wasn’t sure he wanted to ascend. When he came to HCC, Green didn’t plan to stay for long: His goal was to transfer into another college’s communications program, and then to Full Sail University in Florida, a renowned media school.

 Then he took Professor of Theater Arts Geoffrey Sheehan’s Acting 1 course.

“Geoff got me into being here and deciding that I actually wanted to be an actor,” he says. “He helped to mold me – to push me to do what I wanted to do. I loved it, and it came naturally.”

Green had a passion for acting since he was a child. “When I was two years old,” he says, “my parents would bring people over, and I would sing, dance, and do comedy routines for them.”

Since then, the 21-year-old Milford resident has found his calling. He’s had numerous roles in plays at HCC, both behind the scenes and on stage. He’s performed professionally for several acting companies. Last year, he formed Resonate with several friends.

Indeed, Green seems most at home on stage. His voice is forceful yet eloquent, his movements confident and graceful. He has a muscular build that allows him to take on the physical demands of stage acting with ease.

                Sheehan recognized these qualities in his budding student. He says that Green’s talents, combined with his work ethic, made him stand out early on.

               “Kevin was inspired to learn,” he recalls. “He had enormous discipline, and his greatest strength was his willingness to take risks.”

               After his third semester at HCC, Sheehan approached Green about joining Capital Classics, the Hartford-based theatre company that Sheehan cofounded  He auditioned, and that summer was enlisted to play a minor role in the company’s production of Hamlet. It was his first professional gig.

               “He had reached a level of quality that made him ready for the next step,” says Sheehan. “I like to provide opportunities for my students to mature in a professional capacity.”

“It was one of the best experiences I ever had outside of school,” says Green. “It opened my eyes and made me want it even more, because I saw actual professionals bringing Shakespeare back to life.”

Green performed with the troupe that summer, doing four shows a week for three weeks. After this experience, he was determined to continue building on his professional career. He immediately auditioned for a part in the play The Underpants at Bridgeport’s Playhouse on the Green.

               Green says it was scary at first to go out on his own, away from the tutelage of his mentor.

               “I realized,” he says, “that if you follow the same process, and you follow what you learned in your training, you’ll do fine.”

               Green continued to seize any opportunity to act that he could find over the course of that year. As the summer of 2009 approached, he again auditioned for a role in the Capital Classics’ production of The Tempest. This time, he won the part of Ferdinand – his first major part in a professional play.

               “I got on the poster,” he says.

               Green has not been satisfied merely waiting for his next big moment to come around. At the end of last summer, he and a few friends from HCC decided to start their own theatre company. They secured a venue at the Bridgeport Innovation Center, and put on an eclectic production titled A Night of Monologues and Ten Act Plays.

               The endeavor was a success – so much so that that Green and his company are returning to perform Topdog/Underdog April 16 and 17.

               Green sees this as only the beginning. He still wants to delve into other aspects of the entertainment business, to garner more professional stage experience, and to act on film as well. Having received his associate’s degree from HCC, he continues to take courses at the college while exploring his options for four-year institutions.

               “When I take a look at where I started and where I am now,” he says, “I came a long way. Now I need to keep moving forward … because I love it!”

               Brandon T. Bisceglia is a journalism student/intern at Housatonic Community College.