Spotlight: Russell Allen, student actor

If you attended last semester's "The Grapes of Wrath" or the recent "Spring Awakening," then the name Russell Allen probably sounds familiar. Having been in 25 staged productions since his early childhood, junior Russell Allen is certainly an actor to look for in future Geneseo productions. 

Allen is majoring in communicative disorders and sciences and theatre. He has considered pursuing acting as a career but at the moment is "more interested in becoming a reading specialist."  

"I love theater because it allows me to simultaneously explore the intricacies of myself while collaborating with others who are also taking the same journey," Allen said, adding that his one acting – and life – mantra is "be true to yourself." 

Allen's first role in Geneseo was the dormouse in Veg S.O.U.P.'s production of "Alice in Wonderland." His favorite role, however, was Rosencrantz in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."

“I did it with very close friends and we put so much of ourselves in the show," Allen explained. "It was difficult but in the end it was a labor of love and a rewarding experience." 

Allen's favorite film is a tie between Godspell and Edward Scissorhands, and his favorite play is "Angels in America." 

For an acting class he chose Tim Curry as his virtual mentor, which will entail watching and observing the actor in six films to study the qualities of the brilliant performer. 

Allen cited a "lack of confidence" in himself as his biggest acting weakness. "It's an area of personal development, though," he added. 

Allen suggested to students, "Come and see as many shows as you can even if you think you won't like them. Countless people have worked on them and you may learn something. Everyone deserves to be supported."