News Feature

There's No Place Like Home

Bridgewater alums in cast and crew of ‘Oz’ share their own stories

Everyone knows Dorothy follows the Yellow Brick Road to reach the Emerald City. But, you may not realize several cast and crew members in Family Performing Arts Center’s upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz took their own Yellow Brick Road through Bridgewater State. Their destination? Theatrical excellence.

Katia Greene, Angela Harrington, Michael Duarte and Eli Bigelow return to their alma mater in July to bring L. Frank Baum’s fantasy novel to life on the Rondileau Campus Center stage July 19-21 and 25-28.

Click here for tickets and read on to meet the BSU graduates.

Pictured above: Harrington, left, Bigelow, Greene and Duarte.

KATIA GREENE, ’11, WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST

Greene, who studied communications with a focus in theater arts, got more than a great education at Bridgewater. She also met her husband, Matt Greene, ’01, G’06, who now teaches in the Department of Theatre and works for FPAC and Arts for Youth. Fittingly, they were cast as husband and wife (Major Holmes and Mrs. Claire Holmes in The Secret Garden) before they were dating. Katia has performed for more than 25 years, and is doing her fifth FPAC show as an actress or special effects makeup artist. She is also costumer at Mass Music & Arts Society and director for UnCommon Theatre.

ON HER AFFECTION FOR THEATER: “It was the world that I felt most comfortable in. I loved everything about theater, from putting on a costume and becoming something you wouldn’t be in real life, to making props, to stage managing a show, to calling cues.”

ON PLAYING A VILLAIN: “For me, I take it from a place of comedy. I really want my villains to be funny. … I’m not as truly scary as (kids) think I am.” 

ANGELA HARRINGTON, ’18, STAGE MANAGER

The audience may never see Harrington, but her role is as important as the actors gracing the stage. It’s a good thing she has been involved in theater since she was 3 years old and loved the art form ever since. She brings experience stage managing for Brown Box Theatre Project, Boston Center for the Arts and FPAC. In 2017, while studying theater at BSU, Harrington presented at the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology about her work on a timing system for actors who perform immersive theater.

ON BSU’s IMPACT: “I came to Bridgewater because I really loved the campus and I liked the department. It wasn’t as competitive. It was more focused on your individual needs. I was able to act and stage manage and do lighting design and study scenic design, which wouldn’t have happened if I went to another college for theater. I came out more well-rounded and well-versed.”

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CREW: “I coordinate all of the technical effects. Every light that turns on, every scenic piece that moves, and all of the tracking the actors are doing is being called by me and operated by crew members backstage. It’s really a giant team working behind the scenes that you don’t get to see to make the production look technically how it does.” 

MICHAEL DUARTE, ’78, SET DESIGNER

Duarte studied physics at Bridgewater, but he still managed to find his way to the campus arts scene. After graduating, he pursued a successful career as a public school teacher and corporate trainer. He’s also a veteran of the theater world as an actor and set designer, including designing for many Dean College productions.

ON BRIDGEWATER’S IMPACT: “I consider BSC as the best years of my life. … I was always interested in theater. If I wasn’t in the science building, I was here at the theater.”

ON THE SET: “It’s not your Judy Garland version. We haven’t changed the story at all. The look is going to be different.” (Wondering what changed? Duarte is tight-lipped, so you’ll have to attend a performance to find out.)

ELI BIGELOW, ’13, MUSIC DIRECTOR

Bigelow comes from a theatrical and musical family, so it’s no surprise he studied theater education at BSU. He is resident music director and accompanist for The Capachione School of Performing Arts, where he also teaches private voice and piano. Additionally, he has served as music director for productions across the South Coast over the past decade.

ON BRIDGEWATER’S IMPACT: “I met my fiancé here. The teachers here – I still work with most of them, which is wonderful. Growing as a student and now as a collaborator has really shaped my education in theater.”

ON THE SHOW’S MUSIC: “They’ll definitely hear the way the show should sound. It evokes a simpler time. There will be a couple surprises, vocally.”

Do you have a BSU story you'd like to share? Email stories@bridgew.edu.