Get to know Anthony Ortiz!
Anthony first impressed us an actor, then a writer, and he continues to do great things as an instructor and director. His creative spark and commitment to quality make everything that he is a part of better.
We asked him a few questions, and here is what he has to say…
Briefly list your education/experience in theater:
I’ve been involved with theatre since my freshman year at Oswego High School. My first experience acting, however, was in an elementary version of The Wizard of Oz where I played the Tin Man. I later auditioned for OHS’ Father of the Bride in 2011, inspiring a great love for theatre. During the summer of 2012, I decided to further my involvement with theatre by auditioning for Limelight’s productions of Spelling Bee and Oliver. I had a wonderful and memorable experience acting in these shows, and have been with Limelight since then.
What are you most excited about sharing with Limelight participants?
When it comes to teaching a class or directing a show, I look forward to guiding a younger generation of aspiring actors, writers, and directors towards building a foundation for their ideas. In that kind of instruction, it is the hope that an open, free, creative, and collaborative atmosphere is created. My hope is to welcome younger participants into discussions through theatre, and to show them how they can independently pursue these discussions whether it be through their acting, writing, or directing.
What do you like most about theater?
I like that theater is the pure expression of specific ideas and emotions, heightened by a combination of dialogue, movement, and other various visual and auditory aesthetics. Of all the modes of storytelling, I believe theater is the most malleable. It is the kind of storytelling that creates a free and open space for people to experiment with new ideas or further develop old ones.
Which Limelight productions have you been a part of?
I’ve been involved in many shows with Limelight. There are too many to count. I began with playing Chip Tolentino in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Mr. Bumble in Oliver during the summer of 2012. After many radio play adaptations and other collaborative projects, my first major writing endeavor was Have All Voted Who Wish? in 2017. Since my solo-directing debut with On the Waterfront in 2016, I’ve had many rewarding experiences directing one-acts, summer productions and radio plays. In one way or another, I’ve played a part in many Limelight productions and I look forward to being involved in many more to come.
Share a memory from your time as a Limelight participant.
One of the earliest memories I have of my involvement with Limelight technically happened in the summer of 2011. I was playing guitar in the pit orchestra for a production of Seussical. When I was contacted about joining pit, I explained that I could not read sheet music, but would benefit more from being given tabs. Needless to say, I never learned how to read sheet music for guitar during that production, shut my amp off during shows, and pretended like I knew what I was playing. I was a prime of example of “fake it ’til you make it”. However, I never made it.
What is your dream role?
In terms of acting, I don’t currently have a dream role. At the time, Macbeth was a role that I wanted more than anything. I would, however, love to direct Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”. I remember reading it in my senior AP Lit and Comp class, and it blew me away. Nora Helmer is such an interesting and complicated character, and Ibsen adds so much dimension to her arch. I think there’s a lot of room for an expressionistic spin on it as well.
What game or movie universe would you most like to live in?
This is a tough question since there are a lot of books, movies, and television shows I would love to inhabit for an extended period of time. As a fantasy, I think it would be cool to live out the Mad Men series. Interacting with those characters would be both frightening yet exciting. Living in a tumultuous time period like the 1960s would also be such a fascinating history lesson every day. I feel like I would learn so much more by actually being there. If I could time travel to a historical time period, the 1960s would be it.