Wrapping up his time here at East Carolina University, senior BFA in arts and professional acting major, William “Wain” Richardson, sets his gaze towards the stage yet again for another main stage role as the Baker in “Into the Woods” tonight at 7:30 in McGinnis Theater.
Richardson came to ECU as a freshman as an intended major, and entered into the Meisner program in his sophomore year where he spent four semesters learning about what it takes to become an actor. Richardson has participated in performances such as “Really Rosy,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Dog Sees God” and “The Three Musketeers.”
“Especially with Meisner, it kind of takes you apart, and then, through the course of those four semester, you’re starting to put yourself back together,” Richardson said. “You learn a lot about honesty when you’re going through that because you’re trying to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”
After ECU, Richardson said he will begin to build up his resume through working with theater companies as he makes his way to New York City, NY. He wants to work in either filmography or theater, but building up his resume it the next step.
“I’m just being open to whatever happens, really...I’m going to be trying to audition for TV and film there, and for shows there as well, and then get an agent and start networking,” Richardson said. “Honestly, that could all change with whatever opportunity presents itself.”
Senior musical theatre major and performing as the Witch in “Into the Woods,” Mila Bolash, has worked with Richardson for the last few years both in previous stage productions as well as the Meisner program.
“He is in my Meisner class, so we have gone through the same intensive acting training together which deals with a lot of being very vulnerable and being very open,” Bolash said. “So I know Wain very well, and I can honestly say he is such a sweetheart and just one the most pure humans you will ever meet.”
Bolash said Richardson has shown a definite growth with his confidence and his abilities throughout their joint time at ECU, but that can definitely be seen with Richardson’s performance in “Into the Woods.”
Richardson has displayed an admirable work ethic that shows just how dedicated he is within the program, but especially when taking on the role of the Baker, according to Bolash.
She said Richardson is always ready to go, and that is something that will only help him as he moves on from ECU towards his own bright career.
Associate professor with the Theatre of School and Dance, Jill Matarelli Carlson, has worked with Richardson over the years as a movement coach as well as an intimacy coach for his main stage performances.
“I’ve had him a number of times in my movement classes, and he’s taken some of the stage combat classes, and I really look back on his growth from the time that he got here,” Carlson said. “I feel that he has really blossomed into an exceptional performer.”
Compared to his primarily acting roles, Carlson said that Richardson is going to blow away his audience with his more vocally charged role. Playing the Baker in “Into the Woods” allows Richardson to challenge himself while also displaying an emotional depth that will be amazing to see, according to Carlson.
“I really think he’s going to be successful wherever he ends up because he is such a genuinely good person, like really great to work with,” Carlson said. “He brings such an authenticity and a very ‘every-man’ (everyone can relate to him) quality that is very hard to find.”
Richardson will perform as the Baker in the current “Into the Woods” main stage performance hosted by the ECU School of Theatre and Dance tonight until Sunday afternoon at 2. Tickets are on sale now through the ECU SOTD website.