NATCHITOCHES – Dillon Dewitt appears to be making up for lost time. Dewitt, senior theatre major at Northwestern State University, has just four years of theatrical experience, but landed the role of Mr. Bardalucci in “A Prom to Die For,” which opens Wednesday, July 30 at NSU.
“A Prom to Die For” runs on July 30 – Aug. 2 and Aug. 6 – 9 on the stage of the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25. For more information, call (318) 357-4218 or (318) 357-4483.
“A Prom to Die For” is set at a high school where the student expected to be named prom queen suddenly has competition from an unexpected fellow student.
“Mr. Baldalucci teaches a lot of students who don’t quite fit in,” said Dewitt. “He plays off another teacher, Mrs. Noftslinger, who is a bit delusional. He is an easy going guy who really likes the students and helps create a friendly environment.”
Dewitt is from Texas City, Texas. He transferred to Northwestern State after graduating from Alvin Community College.
“Several other students had come before me from Alvin and they sent word to our director that I should check Northwestern out. I came here for a visit and found out they were right. They have good facilities here and the faculty were willing to answer all my questions.”
Dewitt said attending NSU Theatre and Dance’s production of “West Side Story” helped him finalize his decision.
“The level of dance, acting and vocals in the show were pretty fantastic,” he said.
Dewitt was a late starter in theatre. He didn’t audition for his first show until he was a senior in high school.
“I decided to try out for a show called “Dilemmas in Dinner,” but when the cast list came out, I didn’t look at it because I didn’t expect to get a part, but I did,” said Dewitt. “After that, I tried out for several shows and got parts in most of them.”
Dewitt said getting involved in theatre changed him.
“I was quite shy and kind of nervous, but getting involved in theatre changed me in ways I can’t explain,” he said. “The more I got involved, the more I enjoyed it until I decided theatre was what I wanted to pursue.”
Being part of the cast for “A Prom to Die For” has caused Dewitt and his fellow actors to do some things differently.
“The play has a lot of physical elements and (director) Scott (Burrell) told us we should play to the audience,” said Dewitt. “We are used to playing to the stage, so we have to throw out the way we do things and be a bit unconventional.”
Audiences at Northwestern State have enjoyed a number of murder mysteries performed each year by the Summer Dinner Theatre.
“It’s fun to do and there’s no subtext involved,” said Dewitt. It’s also been challenging because doing a play like this requires a lot of energy. I’ve learned to keep up my energy, which will be helpful to me in the future.”
Dewitt plans to graduate next spring and hopes to work in regional theatre in Houston.
Members of the cast for Northwestern State Summer Theatre’s “A Prom to Die For” are, from left, Michael Carrier, Catherine Mahan, Hannah Hays, Dillon Dewitt, Alexia Mullally and Luke Matherne.