Bristol Riverside Theater

In Winter of 2019, I was cast as an understudy for all male roles in a production of “On Golden Pond” for Bristol Riverside Theater. At the time, this was my first job in an Equity theatre. For many actors, getting their Actors Equity Union card can help them gain access to shows and auditions they wouldn’t normally have access to, while also giving them all the protections and benefits that a union has to offer. As an understudy, I was eligible to join the Equity Membership Candidate program where I would get credit for my weeks worked and eventually be eligible for full union membership. During the pandemic, this has changed and becoming a member of AEA has gotten significantly easier, but this was a big deal for me at the time.

The three roles I was cast to understudy were Norman, Charlie, and Bill. The required me to prepare 3 completely different roles. The challenge to playing Norman was that he was nearly twice my age so I had to try to respectfully adopt the mannerisms of an older gentleman while learning his enormous number of lines. Playing Charlie, a much smaller role, required that I learn a New England accent, which took some time, but eventually I mastered it. Lastly, we have the part of Bill, who was probably the closest to my own age and type. Overall, this was a wonderful experience exposing me to the workings of a regional Equity theater.

The theatre is located in Bristol Pennsylvania, which is located along the Delaware river, not far from where George Washington famously crossed the river on Christmas on 1776. Below are a couple pictures of the river flooding the parking lot after a snow melt to show just how close it is to the river!

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