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Darien Residents Enjoy Roles in DAC Production of The Nerd

posted Nov 12, 2015, 6:15 AM by Darien Arts Center   [ updated Nov 12, 2015, 6:19 AM ]

Locals Nova Hall and Twelve Year-Old Jake Smith Take the Stage at DAC. 
The Nerd, a two-act comedy produced by DAC Stage, opened last weekend with the help of two actors fairly new to Darien, Nova Hall and Jake Smith. Both are having fun getting their feet wet in the local theatre scene with DAC Stage, and delivering laughs and silliness to audiences at the DAC Weatherstone Studio. All kinds of humor seem to surface in this top grossing American play based on the hilarious dilemma of Willum Cubbert, an unassuming young architect visited by a man he’s never met, but who saved his life while unconscious in Vietnam. The visitor turns out to be an incredibly inept, hopelessly stupid “nerd” who outstays his welcome with a vengeance.

Nova Hall plays Tansy McGinnis, who has an attraction to Willum, but is determined to move to Washington D.C. to pursue a career as a TV meteorologist. Hall reignited her acting flame shortly after moving to town from New York City, when she met Autumn Howard, co-producer of The Nerd and fellow Darien mom. It is a long-awaited return to the theatre for this newbie to the local scene. Nova previously played The New Teacher in The Children's Story, Mrs. Whatsit in A Wrinkle in Time, Jean Roberts in Billy Jack, Ma in Little House in the Big Woods and was the Midwest pick for Natty in Disney's The Journey of Natty Gann. She lives in town with husband Jonathan and children, Hayden and Savannah, "Who still don't believe I'm going to be on stage."

Twelve-year-old Jake Smith is the youngest actor in the production, but hardly a cast member to be overlooked. He plays Thor Waldgrave, the son of Warnock and Clelia Waldgrave, a temperamental and irrepressible monster of a child, and gives the audience a boisterous and fiery performance. Jake recently moved to Darien from Stamford, but was previously involved in performances at Westover School in Stamford and participated in Odyssey of the Mind. He found out about the auditions for his role through his affiliation with the DAC, where he has been taking piano lessons for years. Jake lives in town with two younger siblings, Nate and Nina, and attends Middlesex Middle School.

Other cast members bringing laughter to The Nerd include David Ryan, Roger Dykeman, Norris Wakefield, Deborah Burke and Scott Faubel. Bob Johnson, teacher, drama advisor, and director at Westhill High School in Stamford, directs the DAC Stage production with Regina Elliott as executive producer. Darien resident Autumn Howard and Anthony Tedesco co-produce the DAC play, which is family friendly for ages 11 and up.

The Nerd is produced by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, with remaining performances on November 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. and on November 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at darienarts.org or at the door thirty minutes prior to performances.

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