23-year-old Chris Vergara is thrilled to be seen on stage this summer as the quirky and hilarious Emmet Forrest in the Wavestage's 20th Season production of Legally Blonde, the Musical! This is Chris’ first production with Wavestage, however, he is no stranger to the stage. He could not be more excited to perform alongside such an enthusiastic and talented cast! Not even a car accident at the beginning of the rehearsal process can slow this guy down. Here’s what Chris had to say about his work in the production of the summer: What part of being in this Wavestage production are you most looking forward to? "Having performed in Toronto over the past two years, and in Hamilton throughout my academic career beforehand, I am most excited about joining this entirely new theatre community. Everybody has been so welcoming; there's a great sense of camaraderie that continues to grow as we approach opening night."
What do you think the biggest challenge will be portraying such an identifiable character? "Taking on a character that so many people are familiar with, I feel my biggest challenge will be portraying Emmet in a recognizable way that fans of the original movie will appreciate, but still making him accessible to new audiences while adding my own individual mark on the role."
What sparked your interest in musical theatre? "I grew up in a family that loved the arts, from taking piano lessons to singing at parties to seeing live theatre. The very first professional production I ever saw was with my family, seeing Les Miserables in Toronto in 1998. The production starred original Broadway cast member Colm Wilkinson as Valjean, who hadn't played the part since leaving the Broadway Company almost ten years before. The experience was revolutionary, and after seeing that incredible show I knew I needed musical theatre in my life."
Do you relate to the character of Emmet Forrest at all? "Like Emmet, I've had to face the hard work and stress that comes with completing school, and have also had to deal with living up to the expectations of accomplishing something great. We both strive for the best, and know the importance of determination and dedication to get things done."
What do you think makes this production of Legally Blonde unique? "It's very easy for the characters in this show to stray into broad characterizations, the ditzy blonde, the bookish nerd, which is something that the story is trying to defy. The vision for this particular production is very focused on fleshing out the reality of the characters, finding moments to make them deeper and more complex. Hopefully this will allow the audience to become more invested in them and their journey."
What kind of training and experiences helped develop you into the performer that you are today? "I actually have no formal training in theatre; I never went to theatre school but instead have my bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental sciences. However, I have been very fortunate to have learned so much from all the theatre I did in my spare time, and now do professionally. With each new show, with each new company, I learn from my fellow actors and production team, and I continue to grow as a performer today."
Don’t miss this spectacular summer production at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts from July 10-13! Tickets are available at www.rhcentre.ca or by calling 905.787.8811.