The Bearden Theater wouldn’t be the same without the intricate dancing and advanced vocal skills of the cast, and principal conductors Emery Hammer and Izzy Fenech will bring a wealth of experience in both areas.
Hammer’s dance skills match his role as Bambi in Drapes, this year’s musical, while Fenech’s vocal talent is needed for her role as Georgia. The show will debut in Bearden on November 10.
“I grew up dancing and I’m a competitive dancer outside of school, so having that experience and background, I think, has helped me,” Hammer said. “I trained a lot this summer on my acting [by working] at Clarence Brown at UT with some of the professors there and they coached me, [helping] get me out of my shell.
Hammer first joined acting as an experienced dancer rather than an experienced actress; however, her vocal training led her to perform in the All State East Choir and eventually earned her a top spot on that year’s show.
Fenech joined the program after taking Theater I as a skilled singer, and over the years she has pushed herself to learn more about the other aspects of being a theater actor.
“I think starting out in theater really opened up my shell a lot because I came into high school not wanting to do musical theatre,” she said. “I just knew I could sing, but acting really wasn’t one of my strengths, especially on stage since I was doing movies.”
“But when I was at the theater, I, [Mrs. Lauren] Andrejko always allowed us to be fully ourselves and we always let our egos go and gave it our all, it really inspired me to become the person I am now.
Hammer added, “Izzy’s voice is quite beautiful, and I think being able to have her be so strong on vocals and me be so strong on dance, have that balance of the two, really pulls the whole show together and highlights what all of us as a business can do in one show.
Throughout their years at the Bearden Theater, Ms. Andrejko has seen them flourish.
“I really saw them both grow in different ways,” Ms Andrejko said. “The two together are truly a joy to watch. … [They] worked so hard to achieve the goal of getting a series lead, and I’m very proud of them for that.
Although Hammer and Fenech excel in different areas of expertise, they still admire each other.
“Emery is the most elegant mover I have ever seen in my life; she moves so well and her dancing is so captivating,” Fenech said. “When she has her dance solos, I think people are going to be so impressed with the way she moves, and I hope my singing is the same too.”