BWW Interview: WICKED's Anthony Festa's Full Circle Moment At Proctors Theatre
Broadway's blockbuster hit Wicked flew into Proctors this past Wednesday with its infectious tunes, captivating choreography and touching story. While the 2003 musical has played Proctors Theatre a handful of times now, with its current run almost completely sold out, the production has an extra little treat in store for audiences: Capital Region native Anthony Festa, ensemble member and Fiyero understudy, is returning home with the show, bringing magic to the stage that ignited his passion for performing.
"My father would take me to the shows at Proctors," says Festa, "and that's really what inspired me to perform." Festa remembers having musical theatre in his life from about the time he was 5 years old. He was bit by the bug at age 12 when performing in a production of Oliver! with the Schuylerville Players. In 2006, he graduated from Ballston Spa High School and went on to study musical theatre at SUNY Cortland, graduating in 2010.
Now 28, Festa has been performing with the company of Wicked for over a year. After finishing the run on Proctors, however, Festa will be saying goodbye to the most swankified place in town and heading back to his home in New York City. Reflecting on his time with the show, Festa is so thankful for the memories he has made. "Some of my favorite parts have been creating these relationships and bonds with the company. Also bringing this message across the country and seeing the impact it has on audiences has been amazing."
The message of Wicked, Festa tells us, is what makes the musical so special and keeps audiences coming back for more. "It's a message of good and evil and how you can throw things at people and make them believe it's true. Getting to travel to different places and bring this message to different states in the time of the election was incredible to watch," says Festa.
With only a few performances left, Festa is having a full circle moment each night at Proctors. On the stage that inspired him to become a performer, Festa hopes that he too will now inspire young artists in the audience to follow their dreams and venture into show business. "I'm a story teller and I do this because I want to give back and have someone think about a situation differently. [This is the] stage that inspired me to do what I do and now I'm up here hopefully inspiring others."