Hippo Manchester
July 28, 2005

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Bringing NYC to Wilton

Andy’s alumni brings nigh Broadway home

By Michelle Saturley

Erik White is living proof that exposure to theater as a child can lead to a career in the arts.

White, who practically grew up on the stage at Andy’s Summer Playhouse in Wilton, now lives in New York City, where he recently staged a well-received production of an original play, Robert Lawson’s The Architecture of Sight. The show was produced by White’s company, the High Fidelity Theatre, at the Chocolate Factory in Long Island in May of this year and had a successful run through June 4.

Now, White and his troupe are bringing the piece home to New Hampshire. The performance piece premiered at Andy’s Summer Playhouse on July 26 and runs through July 31.

“We’re thrilled to have the show at Andy’s,” said Nancy White, a board member at Andy’s Summer Playhouse — and Erik’s mom. “It’s something our older students at Andy’s can see and be inspired by — that they, too have these kind of creative options someday.”

Set in the New York of the 1940’s, the show centers on a photographer named Nick Blank. Blank uses his lens as a wall between himself and the world around him, including the woman he loves. When tragedy befalls our young hero, he must find some way to piece together the puzzle of his life from an avalanche of black and white images. This “neo-noir” piece also features a live band, Uncle Moon, also from NYC.

In addition to writing, directing and acting, White also is hard at work on his bachelor’s degree from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. His mother says his drive to succeed started early and found a place to grow during his years at Andy’s.

“The young people at Andy’s get a chance to do things that no other kids’ program in the area is offering,” she said. “It’s so innovative and challenging, whether it’s learning about acting, directing, or technical design. They really give kids a chance to do it all.”

White thinks that the lessons learned at Andy’s are life-changing, even if a student doesn’t pursue a career in theater.

“The themes that the plays and workshops explore are mirroring situations and choices young people have to face in the world today,” she said. “These exercises expand their minds, encourage them to think independently, and really chew on issues and concerns in a safe environment. They get a lot of support from the adults involved here.”

White says that Architecture is an intense show, not meant for younger viewers.

For the show on July 30, Andy’s will host a fundraiser champagne dessert. Entertainment will be provided by Uncle Moon.

For more information about The Architecture of Sight or any of the other summer shows at Andy’s Summer Playhouse, go to www.andyssummerplayhouse.org.