Performer profile: Aubrey Potash brings life to the stage

Although the words “personable” and “perky” are often overused, both aptly describe Aubrey Potash.

Born in Lewisburg and currently residing in Mifflinburg, Aubrey Potash is a 28-year old bundle of energy very much at home on the stage. With her passion for theater, she has her sights on an potential move to New York City to further her professional career.

As a child, she remembers singing karaoke with her father, and began dance lessons before she was four years old. Her earliest memory of performing was in her third grade play “Rocking, Writing and Rolling,” in which she had a pink poodle skirt made for the play set in the ’50s. She readily acknowledges that her parents and her grandfather remain her biggest supporters.

Potash started performing in her high school shows as a sophomore, sang in its concert and chamber choirs, the district and regional choirs, and was salutatorian in Mifflinburg’s class of 2007.

Initially an elementary education major, she studied three semesters at Bucknell University, completing her education at Susquehanna University. She performed in several college productions, and obtained her bachelor’s degree in theatre, performance emphasis, graduating summa cum laude as co-valedictorian in 2012.

Having taken jazz, ballet and tap dance lessons, Potash still dances in the studio under Alicia Little of Enterline’s Dance Center while preparing for auditions.

Potash’s first experiences with Williamsport’s Community Theatre League dates to 2008, as she recalls that she has worked with “fantastic directors at CTL, including Martena Rogers, Jacquie Engel and the late Jason Moyer.”

Featured in three CTL productions in 2009 (“Cinderella,” “Urinetown” and “Leading Ladies”), Potash also spent part of a few summers in acting stints at Mill Hall’s Millbrook Playhouse.

Relishing both musicals and comedies, she admitted it was hard to narrow down her most favorite roles, but CTL’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and Millbrook’s “Smoke On the Mountain” hold special meaning for her.

“… Spelling Bee” was CTL’s award-winning entry in the 2015 PACT Fest competition both on the district and regional level, with Potash and the cast reprising a couple of tunes in the recent CTL’s 40th anniversary concert.

Playing June Sanders at Millbrook also was a special experience. “June’s monologue late in the play is so touching as it balances out her comedic moments of her own sign language system throughout the show with the playing of various percussion instruments to accompany her family. I learned to play the spoons for this show,” Potash said.

This past summer, she was featured in RiverStage’s “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Potash has a keen interest in photography, plays the piano and alto sax and is teaching herself ukelele, mandolin and guitar as time allows.

But currently most of her time is spent between two major projects. Potash is featured in several roles (including Quasimodo’s mother) in the Community Theatre League’s season-opening dramatic musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

And Potash also is performing a challenging one-woman show, “Miss Chase, Mr. Lincoln.” In the National Historic Theater production, she portrays many characters, primarily Kate Chase, an ambitious Washington socialite and hostess during the Civil War.

The show also features a dozen musical numbers from the turbulent era, from touching ballads to comedic ditties.

Upcoming in October, Potash will play a detective in “Murder Under the Big Top,” a murder mystery fundraiser to benefit West House Personal Care Home.

A substitute teacher in the Mifflinburg School District and assistant director of High School Productions, she noted, “It is rewarding to have students absorb the notes given and the coaching provided, and then watch them apply it in their performances so they grow as actors too.”

Admitting that she has a knack for comedy, and although liking to make people laugh, Potash doesn’t want to be known as a comedienne. She wants to keep on auditioning and performing, always trying to stay optimistic.

“Because this is what I want to do. This is a part of whom I am,” she said.

“Theater is more than a recreation for me. I take it very seriously, doing my homework and research on the show and the role(s) I’ve been given, always trying to be prepared to the best of my ability.”

“The opportunities for children and teens to get an early start in theater education and performing are plentiful now, and I would like to see another theater (summer stock or year around) develop in the area over time, because I think that it would thrive.”

Potash also envisions herself as potentially becoming a college professor in theater, acknowledging that this would require a master’s degree and doctorate in the field. “Thus going to graduate school is definitely is something to do in the future.”

Although seemingly a really tall order, smart money won’t necessarily bet against the personable, perky Aubrey Potash making it all happen.