Theater Preview: 10 in 10 with Gus O’Brien (Into the Woods)

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Local 9-year-old Gus O’Brien is about to make his first professional stage debut in Studio Tenn’s Into the Woods (Oct. 17 – Nov. 3), the Stephen Sondheim musical that weaves plots of fairy tale characters and follows them to explore the consequences of their quests. He’s been involved with theater via The Theater Bug in Nashville since he was 5. We caught up with the Lockeland Elementary School fourth grader for a little inquiry.

gus1. What do you like most about participating in live theater?
Being on stage is so much fun. It’s a place where you can express yourself.

2. How did you get involved with Into the Woods?
Cori [Laemmel, artistic director of The Theater Bug] told the students about it and that Studio Tenn was looking for a young actor to be the narrator. I went to the audition and am so excited to be in the show!

3. What’s it like to be working with Studio Tenn?
It’s amazing! Everyone’s so nice, and I’m learning a lot from Matt [Logan, Studio Tenn’s artistic director]. It’s very fun!

4. The narrator’s a big role. How did you manage to learn all those lines?
It’s a challenge, but all it takes is a lot of practice.

5. What is your favorite part of Into the Woods?
I have to say the transitioning of the characters. It’s amazing to be in the show, and it’s an amazing feeling to be able to tell the story.

6. Do you have a favorite character in the show?
Yes! Jack, because he’s very emotional with what he does.

7. Do you think kids your age will like the show?
Oh, yes, I think kids my age will like it. I think kids 12 and older will understand it more, but I think everyone will enjoy it.

8. Have you ever seen a Broadway show before?
Yes, I got to see Mary Poppins in New York and it was awesome! It was a big production.

9. Do you want to be in more shows?
Definitely. I would love that to happen. I love to do acting, and when I’m 14 I want to be a pop star.

10. Would you encourage your friends to get involved in theater?
Oh yeah, it’s a great thing and I think everyone should try it. It’s a great way to express yourself.

intothewoodsPLAN TO GO:
Into the Woods (Oct. 17 – Nov. 3)
Studio Tenn at The Franklin Theatre
419 Main St., Franklin
538-2076 •
Show times: Thu – Fri 7 p.m., Sat 2 and 7 p.m., Sun 2 p.m.
Tickets: $47.50 – $67.50

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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