Oscar-worthy actors right here in LWW | TheUnion.com

Oscar-worthy actors right here in LWW

Following the Oscars, I am reminded of all the talented actors we have right here in LWW.

Judy Blake, a California native, was a professional actress for many years in television, motion pictures, commercials and on the live stage. She raised her children, moved to Florida and then moved to LWW.

Judy dropped out of both SAG and Equity (professional contract work) to audition with the LWW Little Theatre, where she was cast as Mame in “An Evening of Staged Readings,” doing “Auntie Mame,” and then as Carrie Nation in “The Drunkard.”

Judy is thrilled with the Little Theatre and looks forward to playing Clairee in the upcoming production of “Steel Magnolias.”

Paula Nelson has been acting professionally since 1997. An Equity actor (getting paid roles under a union contract), she is prohibited from acting in community theater, so she goes to Seattle regularly to perform in major theaters there. She is directing “Steel Magnolias,” which opens in April.

Merilee Thompson Imamoto was cast as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” at age 15. First and foremost, Merilee is an actor and has been in 47 plays in more than 45 years of acting. “A night well spent in theater is a night where every nerve ending is alive and you feel a full range of emotions,” she says.

Merilee also sings and took second place and the People’s Choice award in the recent LWW Idol contest.

Kris Stepanian won first place in the LWW Idol contest and is a regular with the Nevada City Off Broadstreet Theatre. Kris is a busy gal; she has children, acts and sings, is a full-time escrow officer and is active in Rotary.

Kim Wellman just ended a four-week run as Cecily Pigeon in “The Odd Couple” at the Off Center Stage. A seven-year LWW resident, Kim has been in various choruses since high school, including the Sacramento Choral Society. Kim met her husband, Stephen, 24 years ago when they played fiancés in the play “All Over Town” at the old Stagedoor Comedy Playhouse, in Sacramento. A regular with the Little Theatre, Kim also came in third at the LWW Idol contest.

Wendy San Filippo has loved acting since high school.

She got serious about it 15 years ago in what she describes as her “mid-life blossoming.” Since then, she has performed with the Community Players Productions (the old Quonset hut theater replaced by the new Holiday Inn), had key roles in two Off Center Stage productions, worked at a theater in Davis, and was a nurse extra in the movie “Patch Adams.”

Little Theatre productions are usually musicals, and Wendy does not sing; she sees the upcoming “Steel Magnolias” as a nice change of pace, with deep and rich character development. She is looking forward to playing the part of M’lynn.

This is only the beginning. I would appreciate hearing about other professional LWW actors for a follow-up article.


Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood? Contact Shirl Mendonca at shirlmendonca@gv.net.

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