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Aaron White provides much versatility to area’s theater scene

Few performers are as comfortable singing the lead in a Sondheim musical at a community theater as they are designing a set for a professional theater. But then again, few performers are as versatile as Aaron White.

White grew up in the small town of Dalmatia in Northumberland County.

Although he doesn’t have any specific recollection of performing at an early age, his mother said that he requested to sing in church when he was only two years old.

A graduate of Line Mountain High School’s class of 2000, White was in all of the school’s plays and musicals, and even choreographed some shows. He was also in his school’s marching band, and played soccer and basketball.

Awarded his B.A. from Susquehanna University in 2004, and an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Houston in 2007, where he got a lot of training in design and technical theater, White said that with this training he “garnered a strong appreciation for how essential collaboration is in theater making.”

After graduating from college, White was employed for nearly 10 years as a professional actor. He moved to New York, and worked mostly in regional theaters.

While performing with the Pittsburgh Irish/Classical Theatre, White “fell in love with Pittsburgh,” and was planning on moving there from New York. That is, until he did his first show with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and met his wife.

“She happens to be the head of Youth Services at the James V. Brown Library, and so here we are in Williamsport,” White said.

Thirty-seven years old and married with a 5-year-old son, White said that, “I cobble together a bunch of different creative fields to make ends meet.”

A prime example is simply White’s schedule over the last few months.

He painted a scenic drop for “The Nutcracker” (upcoming at the CAC in December), and also designed a set for Bloomsburg Theatre Ensembles’ holiday attraction.

White also taught stage combat to the kids at Montogmery High School, directed BTE’s “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” built puppets for “She Kills Monsters” at Mercyhurst University, and designed the set for Millbrook’s “Rocky Horror Show.”

As an actor, White has a passion for classical work, having played Romeo in three different productions, and “Hamlet” twice. He is glad that he was freed up to play Bobby in the Community Theatre League’s “Company” which he calls “a great joy.”

Acting for professional groups, White really had fun playing in Millbrook’s “Gaslight” this past summer.

“There’s something pleasurable about embodying what people depose about human beings,” White laughingly remarked.

In March, White will be featured n BTEs “Airness!,” which centers around a group of champion air guitarists.

Currently an Adjunct Professor at Susquehanna University’s Department of Theater, White said he is always grateful to those who view his work as something valuable.

“It’s important to remember that we all have the capacity for every human behavior,” White said. “It’s a good reminder and one I think it is essential for good theater.

“Of course, I believe that art and live music and theater are essential to a full human existence,” he added. “I do think that it is unfortunate that it is not equally valued in our broader American culture.”

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