Henry Niepoetter – a young prince onstage … a busy actor in life

ImageHenry Niepoetter is the youngest cast member of The Love of the Nightingale. We caught up with him backstage.

What is your name and the character you play?

I’m Henry Niepoetter and I play Itys. Itys is the young son of Tereus and Procne.

 The supporting cast is generally solid, with one special performance in Henry Niepoetter as Itys, the young son of King Tereus. The young Niepoetter’s grit and determination mirror those of Dominy’s princess Philomele and he is clearly up to the task; he isn’t interested in our sympathy, either-a refreshing change from the cute and adorables that adult audiences are so often confronted with.

from Broadway World

What makes you smile about “The Love the Nightingale?”

I never get to smile onstage so I smile all the time backstage! Mostly I’m smiling all the time because I get to work with this amazing cast of talented, funny and super nice people.

Henry as Itys with parents Procne and Tereus, played by Dorea Schmidt and Matthew Schleigh

Henry as Itys with parents Procne and Tereus, played by Dorea Schmidt and Matthew Schleigh

What is your favorite line in the show?

My favorite line that Itys says is, “Didn’t you want me to ask questions?” My favorite lines in the show are in Philomele’s long rant to Tereus about the truth and how she plans on telling everyone what happened. Megan says the lines with such passion! Each line is delivered quicker than the one before it and she crescendos into screams at the end. I make my first entrance in the show right after this scene and I always peak through the curtains on the side so I can watch and listen to her.

“In the final scene of the play, Itys, Philomele, Procne, and Tereus have all been turned into birds. In a bright but soft lighting, they flap resplendent sheets of white cloth, suggestive of wings. Procne, a swallow, is mute. Philomele asks Itys if he understands why it was wrong of Tereus to cut out her tongue. “What does wrong mean?” the boy asks. “It is what isn’t right,” Philomele answers. “What is right?” Itys asks. Philomele answers with a musical trill, which Itys takes up. His voice, his song, ends the play on a pure note of beauty. Throughout the play, lurking beneath the surface, is the poet John Keat’s claim that beauty is truth, truth beauty. Although the truth may be ugly, horrible in fact, and although beauty is not the whole truth, it is, as Itys’ beautiful song suggests, a kind of truth, a kind of answer. “

from the HowlRound review written by Patricia Davis

What is your favorite costume piece?

My favorite costume piece in the show is the bird wings. They look great and they move like real wings. I also think it would be awesome to wear Hippolytus’ mask just once!

 What’s next for you on stage?

On the last day of Nightingale, I start rehearsing in DC for a week in St. Petersburg Florida, doing a reading for a  musical called Signs of Life.

Then I will be singing with my youth choir, Vocetti, at Carnegie Hall with Distinguished Concerts International.  Henry went last year and was picked to be a featured soloist.  That is on June 22.

Thanks Henry! Break a leg and thanks for being a part of The Love of the Nightingale!

Henry will be featured in  Maryland Theatre Guide’s Rising Star column – keep a watch for it!

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