Tonawanda News — Slingerland was tricked out like the archetypal 1980s “nerd,” complete with suspenders, black-framed glasses (mended with masking tape, of course), spot-on for a character later to be described on-stage as “the kids who never quite fit into society ... or his pants.”
In truth, the IGC “lifer,” who has been with the group from the beginning (and will continue on to major in theater at Niagara County Community College this fall), said he doesn’t fancy himself a nerd — but he does appreciate the character and the humor inherent in him.
“I try to find the funny side of everyone,” he said. “I make it a goal everyday to make one person laugh.”
Slingerland and co-star Morgan Heist (who played new student Eileen Reagan opening night but Tuesday was “just a nerd”) agreed that opening night had been one to remember.
“It was so great. I think we were really on point. It was super high energy, and I was ready to go right back on,” Slingerland said. “This is just a really good group to get into. All the shows are really fun.”
“And now we meet in an abandoned studio/We hear the playback and it seems so long ago/And you remember the jingles used to go.”
— “Video Killed the Radio Star,” The Buggles, 1979 (first video on MTV in 1981)
As the cast prepared to go on, IGC founding board member Jim Wright welcomed the audience, speaking about a “double-dog dare” between siblings that started the company years ago.
Later, Wright shook his head while remembering the beginning, when his siblings (including Tober) were seeking theater groups for their children (much like the ones in which they remember participating) but found everything too expensive.
So they started their own.
“I can’t believe it’s been nine years,” he said. “It was something we started sitting around the dining room table. We all brought our change jars ... and that’s how we founded the company.”