gmhTODAY 15 gmhToday July Aug 2017 - Page 94

Theater Scene Written By Matthew Russell Hendrickson Kevin Health, Limelight Actor’s Theater I f you have ever been to Limelight Actors Theater in Downtown Gilroy, surely you have met Kevin Heath. And if you have been there more than once, you have most likely seen him perform on stage. Although he has been performing on stage in the South Bay since 2001, his career began in Sydney, New York, playing the part of the Partridge in the Pear Tree for a Christmas show in First Grade. He was bitten by the Theater Bug and stayed with it all the way through college. His first “adult” role was as the Jester in “Pippin.” It was a summer youth show in Wilton, Connecticut. The cut-off age was 19, but he was 23. So he lied about his age. Only the director knew, although the parents were surprised that he lived alone at such a “young age.” After his experience in “Pippin” he realized that being on stage performing was helping him in other aspects of his life, such as public speaking and work-related presentations and he felt those engagements were like mini performances for a some- what more focused audience. As the reality and responsibility of living life as a young adult set in, theater became a family for him. As Kevin put it, “The people I met, the respect for the craft, the fun...it was something I didn’t want to live without. It was a big part of who I was, and when I found out I could make people laugh…I knew it was a lifelong gig.” 94 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Kevin estimates that he has been in about 80 productions over the years, and he has directed or produced about 40 productions. He has worked on both coasts, at theaters including: Tri Town Theater (NY), Candlelight Players (CT), Newtown Players (CT), Wilton Playhouse (CT), Comedy Theater (Boston), Brewster Players (NY), South Valley Civic Theater (CA), Pintello Comedy Theater (CA), and Limelight Actors Theater (CA). Kevin moved to Gilroy in 2001 to live with his partner Alan Obata. It was then that Kevin decided to look into the theater scene in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. He heard from a friend that South Valley Civic Theater was holding auditions for “The Foreigner” and decided to try out. If nothing else, he would be able to meet people involved in local theater. He was cast as Reverend David Marshall Lee and from there he immersed himself in the local theater scene. In 2010 he and Alan got married. That same year, Kevin was approached by Gary Walton, who owned the Lizarran restaurant inside Old City Hall in Gilroy. Walton asked him to put together a play and have it performed in the banquet area in the upstairs of the building. JULY/AUGUST 2017 gmhtoday.com Bit by the Theater Bug