Actors’ Theatre ExPats Out in The World

Actor Shayne Dukevitch

Shayne Dukevitch, now in New York City

Over the years Actor’s Theater has worked with several actors, directors, choreographers and stage technicians who have gone on to pursue full time careers in the theater outside of Grand Rapids.  We’ve contacted some of these ex-pats to ask them to bring us up to date on their current work and share a few reminiscences about their time at Spectrum Theater.  Our first ExPat is Shayne Dukevitch.

So Shayne, what shows did you work on with Actor’s Theater and in what year?

I performed in Voir Dire, directed by Laurel Merlington in 1998.

What’s your favorite Actor’s Theater memory?

Mostly I remember how much fun we had as a cast both in and out of rehearsals.  Laurel created a great environment to work in and we used to carry that camaraderie outside after rehearsals.  I think we spent a fair amount of time at The Cottage Bar, if memory serves.  I also remember having several “Lightning Line” rehearsals that were pretty interesting.  We would sit around outside the theater (the weather was great) and we’d try to get through an entire two-hour play in forty-five minutes by zipping through our lines one on top of the other.  It was actually quite fun and we really learned to listen and jump on our cues that way.

What have you been up to since leaving Grand Rapids?

I moved to New York later that year and have been here ever since.  I went to TISCH School of the Arts at New York University first, studying at the Atlantic Theater Company and Stonestreet Film and Television conservatories.   Since graduating I’ve been working as an actor as much as I can.  I got my Equity card in 2002 and have worked in the SPF Festival, at the Player’s Theater and with Theaterworks USA.  I’ve also done some film and voice over work.  Three years ago I got to spend a summer in Oxford studying Shakespeare at the British American Drama Academy as well which was an amazing experience.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m actually working with another Grand Rapids ex-pat, Michael Davis, on developing a theater company.  We’re called Eurisko Performance Group and we’re going to be producing our first play next year, perhaps at the NY Fringe Festival, called The Great Divide, by Charles Messina.  We’re very lucky in that we know the playwright and are going to have the chance to collaborate directly with him.  The play is all about relationships and new love verses old love and the really unique thing about it is that the audience gets to choose the ending.  I’m very excited about putting the play up and can’t wait to get to the fun part (rehearsals.)  Right now there’s a lot of fund raising and other producing necessities that I’m learning from scratch.  It’s a bit daunting, but very rewarding all the same.

What have you taken with you from your Actor’s Theater experience into your current career?

I think the best thing I got out of working in Grand Rapids theater was a sense of confidence.  I come from a dance background and was with the Grand Rapids Ballet for many years before having the courage to try out acting.  Working with Laurel at Actor’s and with Fred Sebulski on a GRCC production helped me find the guts to audition for the drama program at NYU.  I’ll always be grateful that they supported and encouraged me and helped me find my voice.

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