ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Stephen Planalp

By Laura Good

Stephen Planalp is a senior theatre performance major.

Stephen Planalp is a senior theatre performance major.

Senior Stephen Planalp, a theatre performance major, came to the university from Columbus, Ind. The aspiring actor did not realize his calling until people told him he had an ideal voice for the acting industry.

“I was homeschooled so I didn’t have a lot of theatre experience other than drama camps every once in awhile,” Planalp said. “I was told I had a good voice for it, and I loved doing impressions for people.”

It wasn’t until later in his high school career that he decided he wanted to major in theatre performance.

“What really clinched it for me was when I came to visit Huntington and saw their performance of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” Planalp said. “It really just blew me away. I remember leaving the theatre thinking, ‘That’s what I want to do. I want to learn how to do that.’”

Planalp has participated in multiple productions at the university. He first appeared as an ensemble member in “Guys and Dolls.” Following that, he performed in “Once Upon a Mattress,” played the role of the servant in “Medea” and appeared in the yearly One Act Festival. Planalp also performed in the Troupe, “The Foreigner,” “Urinetown” and “Reckless.”

At home, Planalp likes to participate in community theatre productions. He performed in “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Cinderella” and “Peter Pan.”

He is active in the behind-the-scenes aspect of productions. He has helped out in the scene shop, served as the stage manager for “Doubt” and was the assistant stage manager for “Medea.”

Planalp has a busy schedule for the 2013-2014 theatre season. His first performance as a senior will be the role of Aslan in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” which opens Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. He has also been cast as Mr. Sanders in this year’s fall musical “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” He will be featured in the senior showcase and his senior project will be the role of Lord Fancourt in “Charley’s Aunt” debuting this spring.

“My favorite part about acting is the storytelling aspect,” Planalp said. “So far, my favorite role has been Aslan.”

Planalp said it has been interesting working with the director to develop the role of Aslan and to interpret it differently from what the audience may be used to.

After graduation, he hopes to continue in the acting industry.

“I plan to start finding stage roles in Indiana while branching out into commercial and voice-over work,” he said. “In between stage shows, I’d like to support myself through voice-overs and commercials, radio and radio shows like Focus on the Family productions.”

Planalp’s enthusiasm and passion for acting is evident in all the roles he plays whether it be a leading role like Aslan or an ensemble member.

“I’m a firm believer you have to go into theatre loving it, otherwise once you’re in it you’ll hate it,” he said. “You really have to have an appreciation for it.”

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