In the Spotlife: Jeff Jesmer of 'The Crucible'

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(The DCPA NewsCenter regularly profiles actors performing in theatre productions throughout the state of Colorado.)

MEET JEFF JESMER
John Proctor in Firehouse Theatre Company’s ‘The Crucible

  • Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
  • Home now: Denver
  • High School: Fridley High School in Fridley, Minn.
  • College: B.A. in Theatre, Studio Art minor with a focus in Ceramics from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Theatre training through Stacey D’Angelo at Community College of Aurora.
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Richard in The Lion in Winter and Paul in The Champagne Charlie Stakes for Firehouse Theatre Company
  • What’s coming up next? I will be playing Cogsworth in Vintage Theatre Productions’ Beauty and the Beast.
  • What is The Crucible all about? Arthur Miller’s classic play was inspired by the McCarthy “witch-hunt” trials of the early 1950s and is set during the Salem witch trials of 1692. In the insular, Puritan community of 1692 Salem, Mass., a group of young girls are found dancing in the woods, and immediately fall ill. When no earthly cause can be determined, the citizens of Salem suspect that some more sinister force may be at hand. Soon the the citizens’ dogged determination to root out evil becomes more dangerous than the evil itself. The Crucible remains as relevant as ever today as a warning about how dangerous it can be to a society where a mob mentality rules the land.
  • Most challenging aspect for you as an actor: The first challenge was to get over my preconceived ideas of what John Proctor “should” sound like. He is such a wonderfully written and beloved character that I had formed some thoughts and ideas that definitely wouldn’t serve me. The other big challenge is keeping the emotions and energy in check while the maelstrom of The Crucible churns around and through him.
  • What do you love most about this play? Because it doesn’t tell you about the problems it presents and the answers it gives. It shows you. It is so well-structured that, if it’s done right, the audience will be just as caught up in the havoc as the characters are. It is a piece that speaks on different levels to different people and refuses to fall short.
  • What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I was a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy in the early 1990s, and I was a single parent for 18 years. Both in another lifetime.
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? Take a moment every day to leave room for our own and other people’s mistakes. If we recognize that we are as flawed as all of those around us, we just may be more than willing to treat others as we would have them treat us. Live with compassion, love without fear and dream big.

Firehouse Theatre Company’s The Crucible: Ticket information
• Written by Arthur Miller
• Directed by Peter J. Hughes

• Oct. 8-Nov. 5
• At The John Hand Theater, 7653 E. 1st Place, Denver
• Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
• Tickets $23-$25
• Info: 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com

Cast List:
Jeff Jesmer (John Proctor)
Julie Kaye Wolfe (Elizabeth Proctor)
Lisa Kraai (Abigail Williams)
Daniel Langhoff (Rev. John Hale)
Carolyn Lohr (Mary Warren)
David Fletcher (Deputy Governor Danforth)
Christian Munck (Reverend Samuel Parris)
Dell Domnik (Judge Hawthorne)
Linda Suttle (Rebecca Nurse )
Jim Valone (Giles Corey)
Rick Williams (Francis Nurse)
Gary Leigh Webster (Thomas Putnam)
Diane Thiemann (Ann Putnam)
Meghan Ralph (Tituba)
Hannah Ford (Betty Parris)
Clint Heyn (Cheevers)
Flynn O’Hurley (Mercy Lewis)
Allyx Townend (Susanna Wallcott)
Patrick Neel (John Williard)
Katie Mangett (Sarah Good)
Kerry Beebe (Martha Corey)

More ‘In the Spotlife’ profiles:
Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages’ Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage’s Mid-Life 2
Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro’s El Sol Que Tu Eres
Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center’s Tartuffe
Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West’s theMumblings
Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ Constellations
Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse’s God of Carnage
Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center’s Sister Act
Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s Ripcord


More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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