By Sarah Kinzbach
What do “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Hair,” “Hamlet,” Meatloaf, “Saturday Night Live,” and the Brazos Valley all have in common?
One person: Randy Wilson.
From acting and singing to writing and directing, The Theatre Company’s own Randy Wilson has a decades-long history with the stage.
RW: I started a long time ago. I was a little boy when I first started singing. I went to Baylor in the ‘60s and studied opera and English. Then went to New York in the ‘70s, started auditioning and got “Superstar” in 1971 on Broadway.
After it closed, I toured first as Jesus, then as Pilot. In the middle of that, I did a flop musical based on “Hamlet” and shared a dressing room with Meatloaf. It was a big dressing room. It was fun. He’s from Texas, too.
I did a part in “Hair,” the movie. Then I decided I really wanted to write for theatre. In 1978, I was too young for the old roles and too old for the young roles, and Baylor made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. So, I returned to Baylor, my alma mater.
From Waco, Randy returned to Bryan/College Station and was hired as the artistic director for Imagination Station, a children’s theatre.
“It was a glorified babysitting service,” says Randy. “So, I put the kids on stage with the adults.” From there, Imagination Station became the Theatre Company.
The company, which now solely performs musicals, has had quite a few successful actors grace the stage. “We have a lot of actors going to New York and LA and they are all doing really well,” says Randy, remembering Tommy Sadowski, a former Theatre Company actor currently on HBO’s show “The News Room” with Jeff Daniels and Jane Fonda.
RW: The thing about theatre is once you get your foot in the door, it’s a small community…I think you have to follow your dream. Some people say follow your bliss.
We have open auditions; I like to keep it that way. It brings fresh people in. Our rehearsals are all open to the public. There are a lot of theatres around to find your niche.
Don’t be scared to come [audition]. Everyone is frightened at auditions, including me! Our auditions are open, as well. You can watch and see what’s going on. You come in and only have to sing a short song.
We had three complete families on stage in “Whistle Down the Wind.” It’s a safe place for kids and families.
The company performs eight musicals a year, two of which are fundraisers. This season’s fundraiser, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” was performed in honor of Randy’s 20th year celebration with the Theatre Company.
RW: The Theatre Company has grown a lot. It’s changed. I used to know everyone who would walk in the door. I have a great board with wonderful people who do all the technical stuff, and I do the artistic stuff. Thank God for them because I’m not good at accounts!
I have the greatest job in the world. Even after 20 years, I’m still excited to get there for the rehearsals. It’s such a creative space we have now. There are so many wonderful volunteers that come in and just give so much. I’m grateful every day for the job I have.
Upcoming Theatre Company Performances
“Little Women (The Musical)” February 21-March 2
“A Little Night Music” April 25-May 4
“Shrek, The Musical” June 20-29
“Legally Blonde” August 8-17
For more information on The Theatre Company, including ticket information, show times, and auditions, visit www.theatrecompany.com.