Q&A with Masquers

Wesley Dashers, Armstrong Masquers
Wesley Dasher, Armstrong Masquers

-Wesley Dasher


-Theater Major

-Attending Armstrong since 2010

Why did you choose to attend Armstrong?

Honestly, I started going to Armstrong just to get my core classes out of the way. I was fully expecting to transfer out and go somewhere else. But I liked it here and decided to stick around.

Why did you choose to major in theater?
When I first came to Armstrong, I was actually undeclared. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and didn’t want to be stuck with the theater major for the rest of my life. My parents kept pressuring me to pick a major and I told them, “If you ask me once more, I’ll be a theater major. And there goes your retirement plans.” My dad asked me once more as a joke and I changed my major that day.

Had you any previous experience or interest in theater prior to starting at Armstrong?
I actually started later than most, I officially became involved in theater my freshman year of high school, at Calvary Day School. I just love being able to work on a project for a while then entertain others who want to come and see it.

Were you inspired by any particular production or roll?
My favorite roll was from my senior year show. I do not like musicals. People tell me I can sing but I do not believe them. Strangely enough, my favorite roll was Birdie from Bye Bye Birdie. If we are talking about favorite production, I got the opportunity to be Alan Rickman’s stand-in for the movie CBGB. That was an amazing experience to be so close to the film and see what it’s like to be a professional.

Do you prefer to work back stage or perform?
I have experience with performing and being tech for a show. I have much more experience performing. I choose performing over tech. As much as I love stage acting, I really like film acting.

Would you prefer to be a film or stage actor?
Film seems more appealing to me. I like how with film you can pretty much do it over and over again to get it right. But that makes it more challenging. If I were to compare the two they are completely different things to tackle. Stage theater takes much longer to learn and perform but an overall film could take longer to shoot. In film things are much more realistic, actions are more specific. Stage theater needs to sometimes be overplayed and more dramatic so the audience can tell what is going on.

What makes Armstrong’s theater program unique?
Definitely the professors. They want you to succeed. They want to help you out as much as they can. The theatre majors are basically a family over there in Jenkins Hall. It can get pretty stressful. Dealing with having to learn lines in time, spending a ton of time with the same few people, and coming together to survive tech week: stressful but rewarding.

Within the department, have you a favorite professor who inspires or helps you the most?
You want me to pick a favorite? I still have 3 weeks of school left! The others would come after me if I picked a favorite. Honestly, I would actually have to say it would be Dr. Peter Mellen. The amount of time he puts into working with his students is amazing. And as a director, he doesn’t want to tell you how to play a part. He lets you know the context behind it and then makes you come up with your own actions. It’s really helpful and just talking with him helps you learn a lot.