This Thursday, Mad Anthony Theatre Company will present THE STORY OF MY LIFE featuring Zack Steele and Sean Jones in Hamilton, Ohio. Jones graciously spent some time with us talking about about the show and his love of theatre.
Hi Sean! Can you tell us a little about how you got started performing?
I grew up in the theatre, in a way. My dad was the theatre critic for the newspaper in my hometown, Hamilton, Ohio, for most of my life. I got to see shows at Playhouse in the Park, ETC, Human Race, Cincy Shakes, and whatever came into the Aronoff Center. So, I grew up in the audience, but knew that I wanted to be on stage one day. Once I was in high school, I did every show I could. That led to me doing community theatre, which led to me working at Kings Island, which eventually led to me ending up at Wright State, majoring in Musical Theatre. It’s been a long path, but it has been absolutely worth it. I’ve gained so many friends in so many different communities that are my support system. They are my greatest influences.
Now you’re heading into your final year at WSU, one of my favorite theatre schools in the area. What have you learned?
I am so excited to finally be a senior in college, after I graduated high school ten years ago! My time at Wright State has been absolutely incredible. I’ve learned so much about what it means to be an artist, but more importantly, I have gained a confidence in my work that I had never had before. I am learning to be a transformative actor, while keeping my heart and humanity at the center of it all, and I can’t wait to take that out into the “real world” a year from now. I have been very fortunate to have had a lot of experiences on the many stages of Wright State. This last year gave me two great, very different opportunities. Playing Ali in Oklahoma! was a chance for me to really sharpen my character work and comedic timing. And playing Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard last semester has been one of my greatest experiences at Wright State, so far. I was so incredibly proud of the work that all of us put into that show. And I am pumped to start work on playing Koko in Hot Mikado when we get back to school in the fall!
The STORY OF MY LIFE is a two-actor piece. What should we know about it, your character, and your co-star?
I knew very little about “The Story of My Life” going into this experience, but it is definitely becoming a favorite. It is nice to work on a two-man musical, especially when you are working opposite a really great friend. Zack Steele and I have gotten to work together several times, and it’s always been a blast. Zack just graduated from WSU, so this is a great way to say “goodbye, for now,” as he heads off into his successful career. This show is fitting for us, because we were in “It’s a Wonderful Life” together with The Human Race and The Victoria Theatre Association. “The Story of My Life” frequently references “It’s a Wonderful Life,” so it feels like we have come full circle together. I don’t want to give too much away about the show, because it’s a fun ride to go on, but I will say that it is a close look at human relationships and learning how to say goodbye. I think that those who come see it will love it as much as I have grown to. Also, it’s the last show that will be performed in the current space at the Fitton Center for the Arts before its renovated so that’s exciting!
That sounds great! I’m sure audiences will love it. So, what’s next for you?
After “The Story of My Life,” I will be starting work on Fairfield Summer Theatre’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Hopefully, I will also be a part of their production of “Ragtime” this summer. Both of these shows are near and dear to my heart, so it will be a very fulfilling summer, working with some really great friends.
THE STORY OF MY LIFE runs Thursday, May 15th, Friday, May 16th, Saturday, March 17th (8 PM and Sunday, May 18th (2 PM) at the Fitton Center for the Arts produced by Mad Anthony Theatre Company. For one time only, tickets are $10 for all performances. For more information, click here.