The Department Of Music and Department of Theatre Arts & Dance has been spending the previous semester developing their production of “Into The Woods.” The actors are a major part of the hard work that has been put into bringing the musical to SSU, including Emily Rice, a second year student at the Sonoma State University.
Through majoring in theatre arts with an acting concentration and harboring many years of theatre and music under her belt, Rice has a lot to say about how she’ll bring her character, Red Riding Hood, to life on the stage.
Rice started choir and theatre when she was young and they have been her passions ever since. She got her start in acting when playing an orphan in the play “Oliver,” and continued to build her acting career from there.
In addition, she has played an understudy for Red Riding Hood in a production of “Into The Woods” before, so that was a part of how she decided to try out for the musical.
As for her experience with SSU Productions, she was in 2015’s production of “Heroines.” “It was an amazing experience,” says Rice. “It gave me the feeling of being in a musical again. And my group for the play was amazing to work with.”
She also has focused on music most of her life as well. As mentioned before Rice started choir when she was young and has also played the piano and the guitar. In addition, Rice has even led classes for choir and dance and many learned quite a bit from her.
Rice also has quite a few inspirations in her life for acting.
“Simple, everyday interactions really play a part in how I build my characters,” said Rice. “You never believe how much you can really pick up from having a conversation with someone or watching how other people interact, such as kids playing together.”
History is also an inspiration for how she comes to portray her characters, as she finds it to be an interesting way on how to understand her characters.
Rice has a variety of plays that have inspired her over the years, although she finds herself mainly impacted by musicals, including “Spring Awakening.”
“I really hope I can play the character Gwendol one day. She’s a really inspirational character who I’d really want to portray,” said Rice.
Rice also says Shakespeare is one of her major figures to look up to.
“I know he’s a common choice, but he really has left an impact on me and others in theatre. I’d love to be in one of his plays one day, such as “Much Ado About Nothing” said Rice.
Rice has even visited West End Theatre in London where Shakespeare productions are often performed, and hopes to be able to travel around the world and also be in productions in other places someday.
As aforementioned, Rice is majoring in theatre arts and minoring in music. “I’m hoping to be in other productions on campus in the future,” she said. “My advice to anyone hoping to act: just go for it. Don’t be afraid to go out there. Yes, there’s a lot of steps to having an amazing performance, but don’t let that intimidate you,” she stated, in regards to how she hopes to assist other aspiring actors into going into these productions.
Rice hopes she can become a professional instructor one day and continue to teach others to follow their passions, in both theatre and dance.
Rice advises other actors to “take a lot from what inspires you to act, although at the same time, don’t rely too much on other variations. Your portrayal is your portrayal and you’ll be able to bring your character to life in your own way. And you will find there’s so many rewards to acting in the end.”