By Katelyn Massarelli
Since the cast announcement a month ago, the cast and crew of The Seagull has been preparing for their upcoming performance, now only one week away. Junior criminal justice major Nicholas Falduto will play Konstantin Treplief, one of the lead roles in the play. Falduto is just one of the many cast members who have been working hard preparing for opening night.
In the play, Treplief is a struggling character that longs for the love of his mother, Irina Arkadina (played by Amanda Franz), and his dream girl, Nina (played by Mikaela Bracken), while having a hard time finding his writing voice. He longs to create something new and to be different from other writers whose works he has read.
“He wants to pioneer a new age of stories,” Falduto said. “He is very young and doesn’t know very much.”
Falduto believes there are parts of himself that relate to his character. After only starting acting at the age of 16 to help a friend, he realized later on with positive support from friends and others that he had found a passion he enjoyed.
“The real magic comes from the reason I didn’t stop [acting],” Falduto said. “People told me how natural I was and the encouragement kept me going.”
When first starting at the University of Tampa, Falduto was an incoming film student with a passion not only for acting but also for the arts. He later changed paths and became a criminal justice major with a cyber security minor.
“My acting idol is Kyle MacLachlan because he’s more than just the ‘actor’ type,” Falduto said. “He is a father, a wine-maker, and a pilot just as he is an actor. So, in many respects, I am like that too. While I act and love doing it, I take joy in the fact that I have other interests and talents beyond the theatre.”
Casting the role of Treplief was a decision not taken lightly by speech and theatre professor, Dr. Robert Gonzalez. Looking for an actor with dedication, Falduto’s inexperience stemming from being a non-major was overlooked.
“Casting Nicholas was a great risk for me and this production because he has not had as much training as some of the other cast members,” Gonzalez said, “However, based on his great audition, his passionate devotion to this play, his minimal training, his personal promise to me that he would give his all to this play, and his humble and genuine character, I think it was a risk well worth taking.”
For castmates junior theatre and journalism double major Amanda Franz and senior musical theatre major Mikaela Bracken, Falduto has been a helpful and influential fellow cast member as they prepare for their roles in the play.
“The greatest thing that Nick has done for me during this whole rehearsal process is inspire me to work harder with the passion and commitment that he has brought to his work.” Bracken said.
Falduto looks forward to the reaction from the audience as The Seagull unfolds before them. What people internalize after seeing the play is what matters most, according to Falduto.
“I look forward to living on stage,” Falduto said, “[the audience] may not know what to expect and if [they] see it through, [they] will take something from it.”
The Seagull will be performed at Falk Theater at 8 p.m. on March 31 through April 2 and will have a final show on April 3 at 2 p.m.
Katelyn Massarelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.