This fantastic musical is brand-new to the region, and much of our stellar cast is brand-new to Renegade. So, we thought we’d spend some blog time in the weeks leading up to the show giving you a chance to meet the cast.
First up is Jayson Speters!
Tell us a little about you.
I moved to Duluth two years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah where I was born and raised. It was in Utah, at the age of 15 that I was first introduced to the theatre and I haven’t been able to stay away since. Some of my favorite credits from Utah include Danny Zuko in Grease and Corny Collins in a regional production of Hairspray. Since attending UMD I’ve been fortunate to learn through many great roles including Jason in Medea, Father O’Reilly in Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, and Danny in Kerrigan and Lowdermilk’s Tales from the Bad Years. It was in UMD’s Tales from the Bad Years that I was given the opportunity to work side by side with the show’s creators; the nationally recognized and award-winning song-writing team of Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. That production and experience affirmed my decision to move to Minnesota and is one I will never forget.
What drew you to this show?
I was drawn to The Burnt Part Boys for the same reasons I was drawn to Tales from the Bad Years. I’m obsessed with newer works of musical theater; that is to say scores written within the last ten to fifteen years. The pop/country/folk-influenced score featured in The Burnt Part Boys is something I’ve been familiar with and have wanted to perform for over a year now. Miller and Tysen, the show’s composer and lyricist, are absolutely genius.
Anything you’d like our readers to know?
I am so grateful that Renegade Theater Company has chosen to produce this fantastic work, one that has received little attention since its conception. I’m also extremely grateful that they have allowed me my Renegade Theater debut in this role and stellar production. Jake is a young, hard working coal miner forced to raise his younger brother Pete after the death of his father in a mining accident leaves their family in ruin. At the age of 18, Jake feels much older and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. I am thoroughly enjoying studying this character and can only hope that I do him some kind of justice in this production. There is so much to be learned from this and the other characters in this show. I can assure anyone that they will be doing themselves a huge disservice to miss out on this wonderful story told through some of the best music they’ll have heard in a long while.