Theater Chat with Adele Crotty

I had a real hard time getting this month’s actor to slow down long enough for an interview. She is constantly busy. She is either in a play, working backstage on a play or planning her upcoming marriage. She is funny, witty and very talented. This month I had the pleasure to interview Adele Crotty.

First, I‘ll need any background info you feel comfortable giving me. Name, age, schools you attended. How many years it took you to graduate etc.

– Adele Desmone Crotty (age 30), graduated from Seneca High School (’01), Mercyhurst College – B.A. in English (’05), Mercyhurst College – Secondary Education Certification (’09)

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

– I didn’t get interested in acting until high school, but I was started performing on stage when I was 5 years old. I took dance at Long’s School of Dance and performed on stage a the Warner. I then took lessons at Lake Erie Ballet and performed in the Nutcracker for a few years (I was a Mouse a couple years, an Angel, and one of those little kids who runs out of the big lady’s skirt). When I got to middle school, I stopped dancing for a while so that I could do other things. I joined the Marching Band (flute player) in 8th grade and loved it. When I got to high school I realized how much I missed dancing so I went back, this time to Daffmark. I got in way over my head, I had dance classes during the week on top of Marching Band practices (I switched to Colorguard), and then I also did Winterguard (indoor guard, more performance based) so I was pretty busy. After that year I stopped taking dance classes and focused more on theatre and colorguard/winterguard. Plus i joined the track team. yeah, i was nuts!

What was your first play?

– My first play was this awful thing about a Werewolf going to high school. It was a musical (I think?) and I played the Secretary. I was only in 6th or 7th grade, but even then I knew it was a terrible show. Luckily that didn’t turn me off of theatre! When I got to high school I did the Musical each year (Oklahoma, Sound Of Music, Guys and Dolls, and Pajama Game) but I didnt audition for any straight plays until my junior and senior years (Harvey and Miracle on 34th Street).

How many years have you been on stage? How many plays?

– I guess I’ve been technically on stage since I was 5, so that’d be about 25 years! As for just theatre, more like 18 years. I honestly have no clue how many shows I’ve been in. I’ve tried to keep track, but I always forget something! In just the past few years I’ve done something like, 15 shows (last year we did 8 shows!!!! ridiculous).

What was your favorite play you were cast in?

– That is really hard. I have had shows that were my favorite to be in because of fellow cast members and having fun times on stage with people and meeting new friends. My favorite show at Director’s Circle was Wild Mushrooms by Anne Pie. I got to play this super ditz and pronounce words all wrong, it was actually hard! I also loved performing in CATS at the Erie Playhouse. It was so physically challenging but I loved every minute of it. I also had a blast playing opposite Jawn in Getting Sara Married at the Station Dinner Theatre. We only had about 10 days to learn almost 60 pages of lines, but we pulled it together and really had a fun time doing it. My favorite role I’ve ever played was Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls in high school. It was the first big part I ever had and it was perfect for me. I loved all the dancing and singing in that show, plus it was my first time doing an accent. If I could ever play a part over again, that would be it.

Your worst play?

– That horrible Werewolf play. Just horrible!

What role would you like to play?

– I would love to play the lead role in the play The Heiress. It is a fantastic show, I saw it at the Playhouse when they did it years ago. Caroline Lynn played the lead role and she was amazing. I’ve always wanted to give that role a try!

What is your favorite play?

– I really love Agatha Christie. It’s so much fun to try to figure out who the killer is, and I’m almost never right! Getting to finally be in one has been amazing.

Do you prefer drama or comedy?

– I love doing comedy because you get that immediate reaction from the audience, telling you that you are doing something right. Plus I love making people laugh.

Do you like musicals?

– Musicals are my favorite! Since I always thought I’d be a dancer some day, musicals give me the opportunity to still do that. I’m not the greatest singer, but I have fun trying! Getting to play Sally Brown two years in a row was just about the best thing in the world. She is definitely one of my all time favorite characters.

Have you directed?

– No. I’ve done a lot of choreography for different shows over the years, out at Mercyhurst North East and at Penn State Behrend. I’ve Assistant Directed a few shows at All An Act, but that’s about as close as I’ve gotten (by choice!).

Would you like to direct?

– It would very much depend on the show and how comfortable/connected I felt to it.

What character did you relate to personally?

– Definitely Sally Brown. She is just the best! One minute she’s thrilled with life and the next minute her world is crashing down on her. And she will let you know it, by golly! Sally has one of the most fun personalities and she just is always in your face and ready to go. Plus she’s got a lot of Sass. I like to think I’m pretty sassy.

What character pushed you outside your comfort zone?

– I played the character Deborah in Sexual Perversity in Chicago. It was the first show I ever did at Director’s Circle, and it was also the first show I ever did outside of school. It is a very intense show that has quite a bit of language (the x-rated kind) and some very personal situations. I certainly had no idea what I was getting myself into when I auditioned, but I’m really glad now that I did it. Without a doubt, it pushed me farther outside my comfort zone than I ever thought I’d be!

Have you set limits on what you will or will not do on stage?

– Definitely. I’ve been on stage in a nightie before, but that’s as far as I’ll ever go. Nudity is not something I would ever be comfortable doing on stage.

Have you dreamed of bigger stages elsewhere like New York?

– Of course!

Has a cast hindered a performance? Meaning a troublesome cast member that may have caused a bad performance for you.

– Oh my, yes. I was in a show once where I had the lead and it was a show I had been working on and looking forward to for months. Unfortunately the person playing opposite me was horrible and never knew what he was doing. It soured the whole experience and just made me super stressed out the whole time. It was a long time ago, though, and when I look back on it now I just try to be thankful that the rest of the cast was fantastic and I got the opportunity to do something really great.

Do you have something upcoming to tell the readers?

– My biggest production so far is coming up in August. I’ll be playing the female lead opposite Jawn Gross on the Erie Playhouse stage for our wedding!

Do you have any hobbies?

– When I have spare time I really love to read. Almost nothing is better than curling up with a good book! Other than that, Jawn and I love watching Star Trek together and snacking on popcorn and gummies. We’re pretty simple folks!

Last question…most important…is you toilet paper over or under?

– Is that even a question? Over. Always over.

Adele was great as always. Theater lovers need to look for her in any play. She is fantastic on stage as she was during our interview. Adele Crotty is a very talented actress and I am grateful to know her and can call her my friend. Thank you.

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