Meet Matt Hill. If you’ve seen a play at the Wagon Wheel Theatre in Warsaw this summer he may look familiar. Hill is one of the cast members for the theatre’s 2013 season.
Most recently you may have seen him portray Robbie Hart, the lead role in The Wedding Singer. Hill spent several months learning the guitar for that role. He also performed in the ensemble for Shrek, 9 to 5, and Hello Dolly (one of his favorites).
He is currently starring in The Nerd, which runs from July 31 to Aug. 10, as Rick Steadman – the title character. Later this month, Hill will play Frankie, the leader of The Plaids, in Wagon Wheel’s upcoming production of Forever Plaid, which opens Aug. 14 and runs through Aug. 24.
“Theater is the air I breathe,” says the 21-year-old Hill, who grew up in Los Gatos, Calif. “I’ve been passionate about theater as long as I can remember.”
He says his love affair with musical theater began in fourth grade when he did not get the part of Harold Hill in his school’s production of The Music Man. “That lit a fire underneath me,” he says. Hill did perform in the show as part of the quartet. It went well, and he “hit the ground running.” From that point on Hill averaged six shows a year.
“In high school I decided it was the thing for me,” says Hill. After high school he was accepted into the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, which offers one of oldest and most respected musical theater programs in the country. It was studying at CCM that landed him here in Warsaw for the summer.
“CCM has a great relationship with the Wagon Wheel,” he says. “I’m very supportive of Wagon Wheel’s system. You’re seeing fantastic theater.” Hill was impressed by the shows for the 2013 season, so he auditioned and got the job.
“I was nervous to go to Indiana for the summer, but it’s been more than wonderful,” Hill says. “I feel so at home.”
But Warsaw won’t be his home for much longer. Forever Plaid is the final show for Wagon Wheel’s 2013 season. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the most excellent show of the season,” says Hill. Then he’s headed back to CCM for his senior year.
“It’s my last year,” he says. “A lot’s going on. Being on that campus is one of the most enriching experiences of my life.” In addition to his own classes, Hill teaches two freshman acting classes and helps fellow students put on productions.
“I would love to go to New York,” Hill says regarding his post-graduate plans. “CCM has a great success rate for working actors.” He says he wouldn’t mind working in Chicago either; “the art in Chicago is palpable.”
Be sure to catch Hill in “The Nerd” or “Forever Plaid” before he heads back to Ohio.