Online Staff Report
MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. — Each year, Timber Lake Playhouse (TLP) in Mount Carroll, Ill., hires a company from a large pool of talented actors. Often, performers are asked to return based on their ability to be placed into a season of shows.
In 2011, performer Dryden Meints stood out and was asked to return for the current season in some leading roles. He just opened Guys and Dolls as Sky Masterson, the slick lead in the classic musical.
Meints said he returned to TLP because, “I love the environment, and the quality of theater here is produced at a high level. I was offered the chance to play some amazing roles this summer.”
Originally from Omaha, Neb., Meints got started in theater in high school.
“My freshman year in high school, I auditioned for Beauty and the Beast,” Meints said. “I was cast as Maurice (Belle’s dad), and the rest is history. I decided to become a professional actor my junior year of high school, and auditioned for theater schools the year following.”
He attends Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, a school with a national reputation for having an excellent theater program.
His favorite role last season was Frankel in Flight of the Lawnchair Man.
“I got to play some other fun characters in the show, including an airplane with red foam wings and a French narrator,” he said.
Meints displayed his ability to perform many types of roles last season, as he was cast in almost every show.
When asked, his favorite thing about performing in Guys and Dolls is “I love singing ‘Luck Be A Lady’ and all of the other classic songs from the show. It is beautiful, classic, musical theater, and Artistic Director James Beaudry is capturing the original style but bringing it to life in a fun and fresh way.”
His excitement about the show comes through in his performance. Local press and patrons have raved about his voice and the sincerity of the character he is playing.
His character work continues as he began rehearsals for the next production the day after Guys and Dolls opened.
Working, based on the Studs Terkel book, is about people working in their everyday occupations and the stories that come from them. Meints will play multiple characters in the show, including the valet, a copy guy and a UPS man, among many others.
Meints said: “Working is taxing vocally, and I have to balance when I use my energy so that I can still have a voice for the Guys and Dolls performances. Both shows are very different stylistically. With the direction of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre director, Chuck Smith, it makes it very exciting to work on the show. Working tells so many different stories at an identifiable level of human experience. It gives you the perspective of the characters, and everyone in the audience will be able to identify with the stories.”
Guys and Dolls performs through June 17, followed by Working, the musical, June 21-30. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays, and there are 2 p.m. matinees on Sundays and Wednesdays. New this season, there is also a Saturday matinee performance on opening weekends at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available through the box office during regular business hours, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org or (815) 244-2035.
Timber Lake Playhouse is at 8215 Black Oak Road, Mount Carroll, Ill.
Posted June 13, 2012