IN THIS WEEK’S “Faces of ITS” profile, meet Andrew Spriggs, an Honor Thespian senior from Troupe 8269 at Jemicy School in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Andrew Spriggs

Andrew Spriggs

How has theatre impacted your life?
Theatre has impacted my life by giving me a space to express myself freely. It provided an environment that allows me to embrace impulses and take risks through acting.

What is one lesson you’ve learned from theatre?
A lesson I’ve learned from theatre is that a character is always trying to complete his or her objective, but they are always interrupted. It is how they overcome or complete that objective that is thrilling for an audience. I’ve applied that to the real world by seeing that life gives you challenges, and it’s the journey through those challenges that makes you who you really are.

What has been your favorite theatre experience so far?
My overall favorite theatre experience would be the 2019 International Thespian Festival. I had the opportunity to perform in the main stage production of Peter and the Starcatcher, where I was humbled to play the role of Black Stache. I was honored to receive the greatest recognition any actor can get from an audience: a standing ovation. In that moment, all the hard work and dedication that my castmates and I put in was fully recognized, and we had the satisfaction of knowing we truly told the story.

Who is your theatre hero?
My mentor and troupe director Sean Elias. He has taught me the foundations of my career and has helped me embrace every obstacle that has come my way and apply that to my craft. He has always helped me strive for excellence, knowing that the potential was there and that all I needed to do was put in the work. Through his mentorship, he has made me a better actor, person, and human being. He has truly embraced the International Thespian Society motto of “Act well your part; there all the honor lies,” instilling in me the ability to truthfully communicate a story.

What theatrical character or show best describes your life?
I had the opportunity to play John Proctor in The Crucible. During the duration of the show, Proctor is trying to prove himself innocent. Through the first three acts, he displays discipline, self-awareness, and modesty. In Act 4, all of that is stripped away; Proctor remains at the mercy of those who want his confession. It is not until he reconciles with his demons that he is able to deny a confession to a crime he did not commit, knowing there is nothing left but his name. Any actor can create their own identity, but an actor who is authentic and truthful is able to strip away all their social defenses so they are left with nothing but a blank canvas on which to create … titled with their name.

Andrew Spriggs (right) as Black Stache in the 2019 International Thespian Festival main stage production of Peter and the Starcatcher.
Andrew Spriggs (right) as Black Stache in the 2019 International Thespian Festival main stage production of Peter and the Starcatcher. Photo by John Nollendorfs.
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