Last updated: March 01. 2013 8:04PM - 2585 Views

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Dana Feigenblatt wears many hats at the Music Box Theater in Swoyersville. She is an actor, singer, bartender, waitress, box-office assistant, director and teacher. Feigenblatt, 30, graduated from Valley West High School and attended the Pastry School and International Culinary Center in New York City. She lives in Swoyersville and has a large family that includes seven siblings and her grandfather. Her stepfather is Rabbi Kaplan and mother is Gerri Kaplan.

Your passion for theater is clearly immense. What was the moment in your life when you decided acting and singing were going to be a huge part of your future? “When I was 11 years old I attended a camp in Florida called the Actor’s Playhouse. That is where I started to get into acting for the first time. My passion really heightened when my family moved to Northeastern Pennsylvania. I was in my junior year and was participating in the play “Children of Eden.” I remember having a temperature of 103 degrees, but that did not keep me from being part of the children’s ensemble at the Little Theater play. Nothing was going to keep me away.”

Did you have any stage fright initially? “I pretty much stayed in the choruses for shows when I first started. I was asked to play bigger roles, like in “Fiddler on the Roof,” but I was petrified and remained in the chorus for that show at the JCC in 2003. Shortly after that I saw that the Music Box was holding auditions for “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” and Nancy Evans, who was the piano player, encouraged me to try out, so I did. I had seen many shows there previously, and I was just thrilled to be there in an ensemble role.”

So the acting and singing bugs bit. What were some of your favorite plays that you participated in at the Music Box? “All of them were memorable, but I really enjoyed being in “The Wedding Singer” and “Jekyll and Hyde.”

You mentioned some of your best experiences were due to influences at that establishment. Who were some of your inspirations there? “The talents of everyone at the Music Box are inspirational. Plays directed by Debbie Zehner, Kevin Costley and John Kennedy were fantastic experiences and really motivated me. The job Michael Gallagher has done there with lighting and effects over the years is truly astounding, too.”

Outside of the theater, who has been a good role model for you? “My mother and Rabbi Kaplan have always been positive for me and encouraged me to do well. Robert Feigenblatt, my father, was always a tremendous influence on me. He spent the last six years in Florida and was part of a theater group there. He finally succumbed to his battle with cancer recently at the young age of 55. I went to his memorial service a few weeks ago, and it was beautiful. He had made friends with so many in his short time there, and the theater group was like family to him. They showed clips and slide shows of him with his family and from various theater events. It was a great tribute. Someday I hope to bring his play, “Ebenezer Scrooge: The Musical,” to the stage. He composed and wrote original music for the production. I hope I can produce it in the future.”

You mentioned that you teach at the Music Box too. What does that entail? “I teach a summer workshop for children ages 6 to 11, and I also run a teen program. The kids that perform here are amazing. At the end of each of these programs the participants get to do a performance. It’s really fun.”

You have a pastry degree too. Any plans to put that into action in the future? I would love to work at Walt Disney World some day. I think my degree would come in handy for a job there.”

What do you think needs to be improved upon the most in Northeastern Pennsylvania? “I would like to see better contributions to arts in society and in schools. I do not want to see these things disappear. People need to attend and support the arts more.”

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