Actor Fred Hooper has performed with many community theater groups through the years
What does the captain of the Titanic and Anne Frank’s father have in common? Probably little or nothing, except Fred Hooper excelled in playing both these real life characters in stage productions in recent years.
Growing up in suburban Philadelphia, Hooper currently resides in Selinsgrove, having retired from the Selinsgrove Area School District as a teacher for 38 years.
His earliest memory of “performing” is likely singing in a children’s choir at church at 3 or 4 years old, although he clearly remembers being one of Santa’s reindeers in his first grade’s Christmas pageant.
When Hooper was 10, he was cast in a community theater production of “The Music Man” which turned out to be “something of a life-changing experience.”
He attended Abington High School, and was very active in the school’s music program.
Graduating with a BS in Music Education from Susquehanna University in 1973, Hooper often performed with many of the its music ensembles.
Beginning in 2012, Hooper began acting for various area community theater groups.
His roles have been varied, performing in dozens of comedies, plays, and musicals for the Valley Players, RiverStage Community Theatre, and the Courtyard Theater.
For Milton’s Christ Wesleyan Theatre Productions, Hooper played many notable roles including Captain Edward Smith in 2017’s “Titanic: the Musical” and Otto Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank” earlier this year.
His most recent role was playing Doc in the Community Theatre League’s “West Side Story” a couple of months ago.
Hooper has several favorite roles: Dr. Jim Bayliss (“All My Sons”), Henry Drummond (“Inherit The Wind”), Otto Frank (“The Diary of Anne Frank”), and Doc (“West Side Story”)
He plays piano, trumpet, and tuba, and acknowledges that he would like to play the Celtic harp.
Married nearly four decades with one daughter, Hooper is an active member of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale, and the Sunbury City Band.
By acting with various community theater groups and participating with theater arts organizations, Hooper is grateful for the opportunity to interact with “interesting people of all ages and walks of life,” making many friends through music and theater.
Fred Hooper also notes that “The Susquehanna Valley is blessed with a number of community theater organizations. I strongly encourage people to support there organizations, either by participating onstage or backstage, or by attending the productions, or by a charitable giving.”