This week’s Actor Spotlight is shining bright on Theresa Peters-Nigus. We were so lucky to have the opportunity get to know Theresa and she proves to be quite the St. Louis Powerhouse!
- What is you name and how old are you?
- My name is Theresa Peters-Nigus and I’m 49 years old.
- Do you have any Social Media links we could share to help connect you with your fans?
- I don’t have an acting page on Facebook, but you can follow the Panther Players HERE.
- What hobbies do you enjoy outside of theatre?
- I love to create fun cakes. I get caught up in shows like NCIS (all of them), Designated Survivor, and Younger. I admit I love the cheesy Hallmark Christmas Movies too!
- What is your day job?
- I teach theatre and direct at Fort Zumwalt North High School.
- How long have you been acting?
- I’ve been acting since I was 10. I love performing, but it is difficult to squeeze in acting when I direct three large shows a year at school and while taking care of a family. I hadn’t appeared onstage for 9 years before doing “Hairspray” this summer, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to perform with my daughter. Now that my children are older, I hope to perform more often though.
- How many shows have you been in?
- I would have to say at least thirty. Is that close enough?
- What were your three most memorable roles?
- This is a difficult questions because every role is so different. I have a special place in my heart for Velma Von Tussle, because my “Hairspray” family made that show so great. I also loved Sister Mary Amnesia in “Nunsense” and Rose in “The Secret Garden.”
- What three roles would you love to play that you haven’t yet?
- I would love to play Diana in “Next to Normal,” and Mother in “Ragtime.” I have also always loved Beverly in “The Shadow Box.” If we delve into any more than that, the list will never end.
- What theaters have the pleasure of having you on their stages?
- I appeared on Lindenwood’s stage in during my grad work, and SCC Centerstage. As far as community theatres, I have appeared with Act Two, Heartland, Clayton Community Theatre, O’Fallon Repertory Theatre, and Hawthorne Players. We also did “Nunsense” under the Fort Zumwalt Coalition for the Arts, which was produced by alumni members of our school district and showcased some of our performing arts faculty.
- What nominations and awards have you received?
- I was nominated for and won the Arts for Life Best Performance Award for Beast Featured Actress for my role in “Hairspray.” I also directed Fort Zumwalt North’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” which was nominated for Best Musical at the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards last year.
After answering the standard questions, which we will be switching up soon, Theresa was more than happy to answer a couple bonus questions I had for her.
- What do you think the biggest hurdle or challenge Community Theatres face?
- In my experience, the principal challenge that community theatres face is the lack of a permanent space. I remember when Act Two got its start, in the old Cultural Arts Center near the old Venture store in St. Peters. We would do shows in the Arts Center, in the park, at local high schools – wherever space could be found. It was expensive and taxing, considering that the company had to pay to store items, pay to get a truck to move them to the performance venue, and so on. We would perform at the city hall, but had to work around all the board of alderman furniture, since that was the primary use of the space. Then Act Two moved to Mid Rivers to the new Cultural Arts Center, and finally to their new home in the St. Peters City Hall. I was so happy that they finally had a home space. But many companies are still looking for that forever space. That is why it is so important to support local companies as much as possible. I keep a calendar of all performances in my classroom, constantly pushing my students to go out and experience live theatre in all its forms.
- What advice might you give to someone just discovering their passion for or just starting out in theatre in any capacity?
- I would say to embrace every opportunity that comes your way. If your passion is theatre, take advantage of those opportunities. Take an acting class or dance class. Go to those singing lessons. Audition whenever you can. Usher a local show. Help run the concession stand. And please – just go see as many productions as possible. Supporting local theatre means that one more company gets to stay afloat, providing even more opportunities for local artists.
Thank you, Theresa, for your undying devotion to the St. Louis theatre community. Without the passion and love for the arts that people like you provide, it would not exist. You also have the added benefit of teaching the next generation of St. Louis talent that will continue it into the future, so thank you for that as well. We hope to see you on stage again VERY soon!