Linh Schladweiler has been with Lawyers Mutual for over 20 years. Linh started as an accounting assistant before transitioning to the role of IT Systems Manager. He ensures that everything runs smoothly. He is a constant ally when technology feels like an adversary.
In addition to being our resident tech guru, Linh is very involved in the theatre. He's currently preparing for his role as “Daddy Murphy” in NC State’s production of Bright Star, which opens this week. I had a chance to talk with Linh about his involvement with the theatre and his upcoming role.
LM: How long have you been involved in the theatre?
LS: I have been involved in theatre since my sophomore year in high school. I was a “band kid” and got started by being in the orchestra of My Fair Lady. I caught the theatre bug and became increasingly involved after that. The next year I auditioned and got a role in the Spring musical. And then the next year I was in both the Fall play and Spring musical. Since then I have been involved in many different capacities. I’ve been an actor in plays and musicals, stage manager, assistant stage manager, ran a spotlight, ran a light board, ran sound, helped build sets… you name it.
LM: You are playing “Daddy Murphy” in the upcoming NC State University production of Bright Star. Can you tell us a little bit about the show and your character for those who may not be familiar with the book?
LS: Let’s see… the non-spoiler version… It’s a musical written by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin). It’s inspired by actual events. It is set in North Carolina in the 1920’s and 1940’s. It’s a love story with some beautiful music and lots of great characters that give every actor in the show a moment to shine. My character of Daddy Murphy is the father of Alice who is one of the lead characters.
LM: What is your favorite theatre memory?
LS: My wife and I are both involved in theatre in the Raleigh area. We met each other working on a show at NC State (Go Wolfpack!) and were married in the theatre there. So, I’d have to go with that.
LM: If you could play the lead in any production, what would it be and why?
LS: Oh man, I have lots of shows that I love but my favorite is a show by Stephen Sondheim called Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It’s whimsical and the storytelling and music elements of that show all just seem to come together perfectly. I’d love to someday play Sweeney Todd.
LM: How have you been able to balance participating in theatre and work?
LS: Not without help! Especially now. My wife (Mette) is also involved in this production of Bright Star. She’s the Production Stage Manager. We have two boys and my mother watches the kids at night so we can both go to rehearsal and, later, performances. This is an exception, though. Usually, only one of us is involved in a production at any given time. The boys have seen us take part in theatre ever since they were born. So, they understand what it means when mommy or daddy is involved in a show. And, how that means they’ll get a “little” more time with one of us than the other. But also, they’ve seen lots of shows in the theatre as a result of that. I think an appreciation of the arts is important for being a well-rounded human being.
LM: What do you enjoy most about acting?
LS: My day job involves working in IT. I think what I enjoy most about acting is the opportunity of having a creative outlet that some might consider a 180 degree turn from what I do most days. I also love the relationships you get to build with other members of a production’s cast and crew. And the sense of “family” that happens with every show you get to work on.
LM: Are there any lessons you’ve learned in being involved in the theatre that you take with you in other areas of your life?
LS: Like most things in life, theatre is just as much work as it is anything else. If you want something to be done well, it takes work. If you are willing to put in that work the mental and spiritual rewards are immensely fulfilling.
LM: Where can we learn more about the upcoming production?
LS: You can go here to buy tickets and learn more about the show. Hope to see y’all there!