Sylvanian creates Ten Mile Creek theatre company

­­–By Marisa Mercurio

The cast of ‘Harvey’ includes, L-R: William Perry, Jenna Noble, Tom Hage, Jane Butler, Craig Sneider, Breanna Randolph, Maureen Agosti, Colleen Sneider, Mandy Wolber, Dave Agosti, George Teague and Martin Boyer. ‘Harvey’ will be performed Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Northview Theatre.

Craig Sneider is a Sylvania local and the artistic director for Sylvania’s newest community theatre company, Ten Mile Creek, whose first show, “Harvey,” is currently in the works.

What are your artistic roots?
Out of high school—where I was involved in Northview Theatre—I moved to New York City and went to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. It was a great experience; I got to see first-hand what that life was like and realized it wasn’t for me. I came back to the Midwest and did a bunch of community theatre. I think I’ve always had a passion for performing.

Were there any ‘aha’ moments?
My freshman year at Northview I was a total jock, but then I took a theatre class as one of my electives. We did impromptu and ad-libbing and I fell in love with it. So, I auditioned for a play called “Our Town” and the rest is history. I ended up quitting all the sports and got involved in the theatre program.
That year I played the lead in “The Music Man.” From that point forward I never looked back.

What is your favorite kind of theater?
I’ve done a lot of musicals, but I really love stage plays. I have a passion for them. I love comedies and dramatic plays. “Harvey” has a little bit of both. I want Ten Mile Creek to be known as a stage play company.

Where have you worked?
I’ve performed in a lot of places around the area, including with the Oregon Players, the Bedford Players, and at the Rep in Toledo. I’ve directed several shows, and as I get older I want to do more of that instead of being on stage.

Future plans?
Ten Mile Creek will be doing two stage plays, “Harvey” and “Rumors,” both comedies. In the winter, we’re doing “Charlie Brown Christmas,” which we want to be a moniker for Sylvania, an annual Christmas show associated with Sylvania. And every spring into the summer, we’ll do a musical. This year it’ll be “Godspell.” I’m directing “Harvey” and “Godspell.”

Any advice for blossoming actors?
Get involved with your high school arts program and do as much as you possibly can. Be a sponge and get a lot of experience. Put together a portfolio. For actors, be able to perform a serious monologue and a comedic one. My recommendation would be to go to college. College programs today are just like regional theatres; they’re that good.

If you want to do musical theatre, go to New York. If you prefer stage plays, it’s Chicago or L.A. If you have that dream, if you have that passion, do it.