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Steady Brook’s Robyn Huxter had to learn three roles as an understudy for 'No Change in the Weather'

Robyn Huxter will be singing background vocals when “No Change in the Weather” takes to the stage at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 15 and 16. She’s also the understudy for three characters.
Robyn Huxter will be singing background vocals when “No Change in the Weather” takes to the stage at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 15 and 16. She’s also the understudy for three characters. - Contributed photo
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

Robyn Huxter was deep in studies when she saw a Facebook post for the casting of No Change in the Weather.
She was in her final semester of the Grenfell Campus theatre program and studying at Memorial University’s Harlow campus in England at the time.
She was immediately interested in being part of the Newfoundland musical. It's a Terra Bruce Production being staged at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 15 and 16. 
She rushed home by train to film a video to submit and the rest is history for the the now theatre graduate, who grew up in Steady Brook and has lived in Corner Brook. She was cast as the understudy for the production and sings background vocals for the show.
Huxter, 29, started out in theatre when she was young, but it wasn’t her first career choice.
She wanted to become a doctor and completed a bachelor of science degree at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. While there she took as many drama classes as the university would allow. 
After she finished her degree, she remained involved in theatre with roles in Stage West Theatre Festival, Gros Morne Theatre Festival and Theatre Newfoundland Labrador (TNL) shows. 
“At a certain point in my life I realized I was spending most of my free time doing theatre. So, I figured if I can actually get paid for it, that makes more sense.”
With that, she decided to go back to school and get her theatre degree.
Huxter said she loves the storytelling in acting and theatre.
“I find it interesting to be able to tell a bunch of different stories in different ways.”
The story told in No Change in the Weather is a really interesting one, she said. It’s about a family at a wake where a lot of people who haven’t seen each other for years end up meeting. And it focuses on Newfoundland’s history with an emphasis on Churchill Falls.  
“How we can look at our history and move forward into the new Newfoundland,” said Huxter.
So fresh out of school, the opportunity is a great one. It gives her the chance to work with a crew that consists of Kelly-Ann Evans, a faculty member at the Graham Academy, and Grenfell grads Marquita Walsh, from Fleur de Lys, and Keelan Purchase.
As the understudy, Huxter has had to study three roles: Ruth, Amanda and the Mountie.
It was difficult at first, she said, and with so many lines she’d often get the characters mixed up.
“Sometimes I was thinking as two or three people and it was getting super confusing.
“I just had to find ways to divide them physically and their mental states in my own mind.”
Being the understudy also has its benefits. 
“It’s cool from a story perspective. I, as an actor, have a lot more perspective into the story, because each character has a completely different thing going on.”
But the waiting, “am I going on, am I not,” can be stressful.
She did get to perform as Ruth, normally played by Brooke Adams, in St. John’s on Aug. 3 at the end of the show’s run at the LSPU Hall. 
It was a planned performance to give her one show before the play goes on tour. After the two shows in Corner Brook, it’s on to Kitchener, Hamilton, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto. The tour will run until Oct. 12. 
There are no plans for Huxter to step into either of the roles for the Corner Brook shows and she laughs when asked if she’s been jinxing her fellow cast members.
“No, I’m very happy to sing my background vocals and just be happy to bring this story to my hometown.” 

diane.crocker@thewesternstar.com
Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

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