This week we talked with Chris Seeley, our MCT Treasurer, to let us all get to know him a little better. Many of you probably know Chris from his memorable MCT and Academy performances in recent years. He is also a highly accomplished musician, specializing on tuba and piano.
Q: What does returning to live theater mean to you?
Though we were able to go somewhat dormant with minimal damage to our operations, each day that passed without being open and active felt like a step away from our volunteers, supporters, and audiences. As we slowly begin to move toward normal, I hope to see our momentum return and MCT again be on the minds of those that make our mission possible.
Q: How did you come to play the tuba?
I began my musical life as a brass player. After a brief time on trombone back in elementary school, it became apparent that my arms were too short, so I was introduced to the tuba and have remained there for the subsequent 25 years.
Q: Where have you played locally?
I was the principal tuba for the Erie Junior Philharmonic for two years and was a music and political science double major at Allegheny. Following graduation, I was unable to perform as regularly as I had in the past. However, I was able to rejoin my alma mater’s Wind Symphony. So now, three times a week during my lunch break at the Crawford County Courthouse, I climb the hill to Allegheny, once again find my seat in Shafer Auditorium, and join in the music. I have also regularly played with the Concert Band of Northwest Pennsylvania.
Q: How could a tuba player possibly become an actor?
Anticipating the need for brass in the orchestra for the Academy Theatre’s production of “Spamalot,” I visited the theater during auditions hoping to be seated in the pit. However, I was asked to audition as a performer. Ultimately, the pit was not formed, but I was cast as King Arthur.
Q: Do you prefer performing, playing or budgeting?
While stage appearances can be fun, I am always more comfortable behind a tuba or piano, or even out of the production completely as a behind-the-scenes administrator. While the production and art quality that is put out by the house is the rightful focus of attention of any arts organization, the unseen administrative activities of raising money, managing a budget, and ensuring that the lights stay on are the quiet engine that drives the whole agency. I take a great deal of joy in managing the finances of MCT and ensuring that we are taking positive actions forward to preserve our slice of the Meadville artistic pie.