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Junior Becomes Wizard in City of Emeralds

By KATELYN MASSARELLI

Spencer Hubbard shook before first stepping onstage as the Mad March Hare in his sixth grade theatre camp’s production of Alice in Wonderland. Now, in his junior year at UT and about to perform in his fifth theatre production, he says he hasn’t been able to stop acting.

The public relations and theatre double major will play the Wizard of Oz in the City of Emeralds in December, using only his voice to convey the wizard’s story in this well-known classic.

This will be the last speech, theatre, and dance department production of the semester, and perhaps its most unique. This radio style play allows the cast to gain a new perspective on theater, forcing them to shift their focus solely on vocals and away from visuals.

For Hubbard, the experience is made most special by his peers.

“I just absolutely love all the people you get to meet through theater,” Hubbard said, “I think my life would be boring without it.”

Along with productions this semester, Hubbard was also a part of UT Theatre performances such as Six Characters in Search of an Author, 4×8: An Evening of One Act Plays and last semester’s plays The Seagull and Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead.

Senior musical theatre major Marissa Volpe, who will be playing the Wicked Witch of the West, notes that with each performance Hubbard has taken on, he has worked to put his own twist on characters, making them personal and real for the audience.

“I think every role changes you a little bit,” Hubbard said. “You sort of have to incorporate characters into yourself. My current acting teacher, Paul Finocchiaro always talks about the magical ‘what if’ where you really put yourself into what your character is going through.”

Hubbard is working to make his voice match with the wizard’s authoritative tone.

“It’s mainly having to act only through your voice,” Hubbard said. “You really have to watch inflection and constantly having to watch how you say things.”

Hubbard is also helping fellow cast mates prepare to take on their own voice roles in the play, according to Volpe. His fearless attitude when taking on characters is one thing Volpe loves about Hubbard as an actor.

“Spencer has helped me prepare for my role by giving me a lot in his role to work off of, like making big choices that I can then bounce off of,” Volpe said. “Spencer is one of the most encouraging, positive people I have ever met and I treasure not only getting to work with him as an actor, but being able to call him one of my best friends.”

City of Emeralds comes to Reeves Theater at 8 p.m. on Dec. 9 and 10.

Stay tuned for next semester’s new set of actors, as the department puts on Beehive: The 60’s Musical and Bloodguilt: Orestes on Trial.

Katelyn Massarelli can be reached at katelyn.massarelli@theminaretonline.com

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