Owen Steinhart, who goes by the stage name “Bradley Pitt”, finds himself alone in a dark theater deep in Burnsville. “This is it,” he whispers, “my chance to make it big.”
Hailing from the rarely touted and largely unknown Winona State theater department Owen has a moderate amount of experience and an exceedingly large amount of confidence. Owen’s theater major never landed him a lead role at Winona but he was excellent at running lines with the much more talented actors.
“Owen would often do unnecessary accents and arresting gestures. It was hard to watch, cringeworthy even. He also had a nasty habit of literally begging for roles,” said fellow Winona actor, Leslie Stevenson.
Despite advice to the contrary from his theater professors Owen is pressing on, continuing his acting career. Steinhart is poised to take on his first community theater role this summer as “Solider 2” in Shakespeare’s Othello produced by the Burnsville Community Thespians. Despite having zero speaking lines and only showing up in a few scenes Steinhart is convinced this role will propel him to the Guthrie stage in no time.
“I think Othello’s second cousin, once removed, is interning in the casting department for the Guthrie this summer, so, you know, all it takes is one,” said Steinhart after gargling warm salt water. “It’s not all about ‘talent,’ or ‘skill,’” Steinhart continued, using air quotes, “most of the time they’re just searching for a certain look and I believe I have the look of a Guthrie actor.”
When pressed about Steinhart’s stage presence, others in the show said things like, “he’s fine” and “who?” “He won’t stop pretending he’s an orphan boy from Oliver Twist and I’m actually starting to lose my hair,” said Amir Axford, who plays Iago.
Steinhart immediately ruffled a few feathers when he showed up on day one of rehearsal with a long scarf, giant sunglasses, and a stack of No Fear Shakespeare books. “I’m very invested in the process and I love giving my fellow actors unsolicited criticism about their interpretation of their lines.”
“I’ve seen at least seven Guthrie shows and I won ‘Most Likely to be an Understudy’ in high school so that has to count for something, right? Right?” said Steinhart, shaking. Steinhart’s dreams don’t end at the Guthrie though, he’s adamant that if given the right chance he’ll be on Broadway before the year is up.
“Please come see my show, please,” pleaded Steinhart “and tell any cool, hip, actor friends you know to come too!”