A 15-year-old actor from Plano is making a big splash off stage as a young investor in an Off-Broadway play.
Alex Duva has been acting in plays since he was seven years old. From the beginning, he’s learned from Fun House Theater and Film’s Jeff Swearingen. So when Swearingen decided to take his play “Stiff” form the Plano stage to Off-Broadway in New York City, Duva knew he wanted to participate.
“I really, really like Jeff and I’ve been with him for such a long time, and I just really think this show needs to get out there,” said Duva.
When Duva realized he might not be able to make a trip to see “Stiff’s” run starting in February, he instead dreamt up the idea to invest as a producer.
“[I had] about $100, but then I realized later that $100 was like nothing to get on Off-Broadway,” said Duva.
That’s when he started turning to his friends
“I just asked them and they were willing to put in their money. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be,” said Duva.
In the end, 15 teens ended up pitching in money for the cause bringing their total investment to $1,500. It was enough to own a share of the show and get a spot for their names on the Playbill when the show debuts next month.
In addition to Duva, Ilyena Metzger, Hannah Moore, Zoe Smithey, Marcus Miller, Taylor Donnelson, Brad Weatherford, Charlotte Foree, Dax Foree, Doak Rapp, Tess Cutillo, Kennedy Waterman, Mia Heber, Joe Nativi and Jaxon Beeson put up funds.
Swearingen, who says Fun House has been preparing kids to be professional actors for several years, hopes this serves as a new lesson for students who may not have considered the business side of theater.
“I think anytime they can learn something that they’re perfectly capable of learning now while they’re young, I think is amazing. I wish programs all over America would sprout up and do that. There’s no reason why they have to wait until they’re out of college to produce their own show. Why not do it right now with a little of the training wheels,” said Swearingen.
Stiff runs from February 21st through March 3rd at the TBG Theater.