BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – West Virginia Wesleyan’s upcoming production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” features guest artist Enrique Bravo in the role of Bottom. Hailing originally from south Texas and currently residing in Billings, Montana, Bravo is a professional actor whose career spans over two decades. He has been on campus at Wesleyan since early September, interacting with students in classes and rehearsals.
“The students come with a lot of energy, which has been great,” remarked Bravo. “And for a show like Midsummer, that works really well.”
The theater students, in return, have been watching the veteran actor at work and applying those lessons to their own craft.
“To watch Enrique make such bold choices so confidently is inspiring,” noted junior musical theatre and media communications double-major Timothy Walker, who plays Hermia. “We’ve all felt inclined to match Enrique’s energy in one way or another, allowing ourselves to have the most fun we can on stage.”
“Enrique brings an energy to the stage that makes rehearsals feel so much more fun,” added freshman theater major Ben Long, who plays Peter Quince.
Bravo has been acting in Juneau, Alaska since 2006. He is a founding member of Theater Alaska and Generator Theater and has worked with Perseverance Theatre in over 30 plus productions, where he was the Actor-In-Residence from 2013-2019. Regionally he has also worked at Seattle Repertory, New York Theatre Festival and Austin Shakespeare, among others. Bravo received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in regional theatre from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, Missouri and his Master of Fine Arts in acting from the University of Texas at Austin.
“I usually play romantic types: lovers in Shakespeare and more serious roles, which are fun in their own right, but these broader characters allow for a different type of play,” commented Bravo. “I get to remind myself that it’s okay to be that big, while grounding the bigness in an actual character, which I’ve been exploring in rehearsal.”
“The first read-through was when I first said, ‘Okay, so we’re working with the big leagues!’” recalled Pippa McGinley, senior musical theatre major playing Titania and Theseus. “Usually, first readings are awkward and people are afraid to start the process at this stage. Enrique, however, jumped right in.”
A keen outdoor enthusiast, Bravo has also traveled to various parts of West Virginia on his days off, including Audra State Park, Blackwater Falls, Snowshoe, Seneca Rocks, Cass and the Greenbrier River Trail.
“I’m glad I’m catching it as the leaves are starting to change. It’s really pretty here; the different areas are so distinct and the history has been interesting to learn, particularly in Cass and even the Asylum in Weston,” Bravo said.
WV Wesleyan’s Theatre & Dance Department production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will take place outdoors, on the lawn in front of the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Oct. 7-8 and 10-12 at 7:30 pm. The show is free and open to the public. Social distancing, warm layers and masks are encouraged. A link to a livestream broadcast of the performances will be available soon. For more information, contact Tom Schoffler, director and chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA WESLEYAN COLLEGE
West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) is a private, four-year residential liberal arts college in Buckhannon, West Virginia. A tradition of excellence for more than 130 years, West Virginia Wesleyan is home to 14 Fulbright Scholars. The Princeton Review ranked Wesleyan one of its 2022 Best Colleges in the Southeastern Region of the United States. U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best College Rankings designated Wesleyan a “Top 20” Best Value – Regional Universities (South) and one of the “Top 75” Regional Universities (South). WVWC offers students more than 40 majors and 40 minors; graduate programs in athletic training, business administration, creative writing, and nursing; 22 NCAA Division II athletic programs; multiple performing arts groups; and more than 70 organizations. Founded in 1890, the College is closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church and abides by the Wesley doctrine that emphasizes service to others. For more information, visit wvwc.edu.