Tessa Russo of Denver has landed the role of Elfran in Activate Community Through Theatre’s “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”In the holiday classic, Rudolph uses the children in the audience to help the elves make toys, participate in reindeer games and join him as he saves the day. Tessa’s role involves acting really silly – something the 12-year-old says isn’t hard. “This elf is goofy,” she said. “She is always confused and some of her lines are hilarious. I don’t want to give them away, but they make me laugh!”Wrenn Goodrum, artistic director Activate Community Through Theatre, discovered there was a need for productions that urged audience members, particularly ages 3-12, to help tell the story. The cast of Rudolph involves 15 actors, ages 9-16, offer the audience a unique theatrical experience.“It is so much fun to watch children in the audience leap at the chance to join the actors onstage,” Goodrum said. Tessa hopes to continue acting in the future. The sixth grader at SouthLake Christian Academy has some good practice under her belt. Tessa has appeared in “Stuart Little,” “Wizard of Oz,” and “Peter Rabbit,” all productions by local theatre groups, including Davidson Community Players and Green Room Community Theatre.Tessa caught the acting bug after participating in a summer camp at SouthLake. Since then, she has taken acting classes through The Kidz Rock, a Denver-based theater company for youth run by Goodrum. Tessa has learned all aspects of the theater – from improvision to props to stage direction.That training came in handy when Tessa was hired as an extra in the Emmy-winning drama, “Homeland.” She was one of five children chosen to be extras on the show. The scenes were filmed in a big house in Statesville. Tessa and the other children got to swim in a pool all day and pretend to attend a fancy party for the episode, which aired last month. “It was really fun,” Tessa said.Tessa’s parents, Paula and Steve Russo, are extremely proud of their daughter. She is also part of the school’s swim team, make good grades and practices for the play several days week. One day, Tessa hopes to be on the big screen, like her favorite actress Selena Gomez. “I am so proud of Tessa because she has tried out for roles and she gets a large part of the roles, but she doesn’t get every role,” Paula Russo said. “That doesn’t stop her. She just keeps plugging away and getting better every day.”
Friday, Nov. 30, 2012
Denver tween catches the acting bug
Tessa Russo plays Elfran in a production of ‘Rudolph’
See “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at Meyers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte; and 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at Cannon Memorial YMCA, 5235 Langford Ave., Concord. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. To reserve tickets, call 704-707-6757.
Tessa Russo of Denver will play Elfran in the Activate Community Through Theatre's "Rudolp the Red Nosed Reindeer."
Want to go? See “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” at 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 8 at Meyers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte; and 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at Cannon Memorial YMCA, 5235 Langford Ave., Concord. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. To reserve tickets, call 704-707-6757. For information about Activate Community Through Theatre, visit www.activatecommunitythroughtheatre.com.