Connecticut Theatre Company’s “Spotlight On…” series continues with a look into our talented cast and crew of The Drowsy Chaperone. Get to know Seth VanNatter who is portraying Man in Chair!
Introduce Yourself to Our Audience:
My name is Seth VanNatter, and I play Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone. I moved to Connecticut about three years ago with my partner from Pittsburgh, although I grew up in the suburbs of Indianapolis. While in Indiana, I graduated with a major in Production Directing with a minor in Technical Theatre from Ball State University. When I’m not in the theatre, I still can’t stay away from the stage, performing in drag under the drag name Enigma Jones. I’m so excited to be back on the stage without the wigs and the rhinestones in this wonderful production.
What is challenging about bringing this script to life?
I would say the most challenging part of bringing this script to life is the comedic timing. The second the show starts, it’s jokes and bits and physical comedy jam packed page after page, line after line. It’s one challenge just to catch every joke the writers built into the script and score, but then it’s an added challenge to then execute those within an inch of their life and make sure the audience catches them too. It’s a hilarious show, and I want to make sure we’re doing it justice.
Why did you want to be involved in this production?
About the time I hit high school, I decided I didn’t really need to be on stage for theatre anymore. I loved directing; I only did a few shows during high school. I retreated behind the scenes. However, I loved The Drowsy Chaperone from the few productions of it I’d seen. I told myself that if I was ever in a musical again, it would be in this show and as Man in Chair. Luckily, the theatre company I love most was putting it on, so I jumped at the chance to live out my only dream role.
Who is the show is most like their character?
The person who is most like their character is definitely Montana as Janet. Janet is extremely talented, an absolute workhorse, the most likeable person, and cares so deeply about people. I can’t think of someone who embodies those things better than Montana.
What’s going to surprise people about this show?
What’s going to surprise people about this show is the heart at the center of it all. It might be a silly comedy with a campy musical nested inside of it, but it’s driven by an emotional core. Juxtaposing the comedic moments with the emotional moments enriches both of them and gives the story more meaning and makes it more relatable.
What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
I hope the audience walks away from the show at the end thinking about what brings them joy. Whether it’s their favorite TV show, the movie they’ve watched an ungodly amount of times, a book that’s falling apart at the spine, or whatever else, we all have something that gives us comfort from the discomfort that comes with being a person in the world. I want people to think about how and why those things bring them comfort and know that it’s okay to need a little help sometimes. We all have challenges we’re overcoming, and it’s okay to have those things that get us through.”
The Drowsy Chaperone opens December 1st and runs through December 17th at Connecticut Theatre Company. Tickets on sale now!
Hailed by New York Magazine as “The Perfect Broadway Musical,” The Drowsy Chaperone is a masterful meta-musical, poking fun at all the tropes that characterize the musical theatre genre.