Mt. Pleasant Area graduate to perform in iconic stage act
A Mt. Pleasant Area graduate will take the stage this weekend and next in Split Stage Production's presentation of the rock musical “Hair: The American Love-Rock Musical.”
Nicole Stouffer, 20, daughter of Lorrie and Tony Quadro of Donegal Township and David and Kathy Stouffer of Ligonier, will take on the role of Crissy in the show presented at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center.
The production opens at 8 tonight, with additional showings at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Feb. 5-7.
Split Stage Productions cofounder Rob Jessup said Stouffer is doing a “fantastic job” in what is the first show she has performed with the company.
“Nicole is an extremely talented girl, and (she) is a perfect fit for the role of Crissy,” Jessup said. “The character has a natural innocence to her, and we get that vibe from Nicole instantly.”
The classic musical is set in the 1960s in New York City, telling the coming-of-age a group of young people who must decide whether to reject or become apart of mainstream society.
Ultimately, character Claude must choose whether to resist the Vietnam War draft, following his friends, or cave to the pressure of his parents.
“Hair” was the first rock musical, and it is known for anti-war anthems, “Age of Aquarius,” and, “Let the Sun Shine In.”
“I think the audience is going to fall in love with the characters. By the end, they should feel like they're apart of the tribe,” Stouffer said. “I actually chose to research this show my freshman year of college. The music is so fun. If done the right way, the show really has a message, especially for the time period. These characters are so full of love and passion. The show is especially appealing now with everything that's going on in the world. ‘Make love, not war,' is such a powerful message, and that's what this show is all about.”
The daughter of a professional singer and a musician, Stouffer said she has been performing as long as she can remember.
A junior in Point Park University's musical theater program, she said this is her first time performing in this musical.
“I love it. Crissy is ... very sweet and full of love,” Stouffer said. “Being part of a tribe, my best experience was when I was in the Greek Chorus of Hecuba at Point Park University. A passionate ensemble is crucial to making a connection with the audience. It's not just about one actor. Our job is to affect the audience, hopefully in a positive way.
“If I can do that, even to just one person, I'm doing my job,” she added.
Delmont's Laura Wurzell, the production's director and choreographer, has never worked with Stouffer before, but she is relishing the experience and would love the opportunity to do so again, she said.
“She brings such wonderful dichotomies to the show, all of which caught my eye at auditions,” Wurzell said. “Nicole, as Crissy, is vulnerable yet strong, so open but contained, and just so expressive that she draws you into her performance. She is an accomplished actress while still a student at Point Park, and (she) possesses a beautiful voice.”
Tickets are available for $20 online at splitstage.com or by calling 1-888-71-TICKETS.
Student ticket prices are also available.
Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.