by Luke Maynus. @ luke.maynus.
WHEELING, WV - Local teenager Hattie Rogers has caught the attention of many Wheeling citizens recently for her unique portrayal of the 32-year old character of Cassie Ferguson in the Wheeling Community Theatre’s Production of A Chorus Line.
“I would definitely consider myself a character actor, and I love when my makeup and costume can help me get lost in a performance,” explained the 16-year old while applying the deepest darkest crows feet you’ve ever seen to the corners of her eyes. “It’s especially helpful when I’m so far removed from who I’m playing. I mean the character is a whopping 32 years old! How disgusting!”
Wheeling Community Theatre’s director of A Chorus Line, Brianna Pinkett, clarified that it was not her direction which led Rogers to make such a bold character choice.
"It’s incredibly insulting. I turned 35 this year," noted the decrepit woman, seemingly moments away from the sweet release of death. "I barely have any wrinkles. Heck, my grandmother is 95, and looks younger than Hattie in all of her makeup. I honestly thought it was a joke at first, and at this point I think we’re in too deep to correct it."
Rogers’s fellow castmates have gone on record as saying they’ve been inspired by Hattie’s dedication to her craft. Most notably, her 18-year old costar, Walden Matters, who portrays the character Zach in A Chorus Line.
"My character is supposed to be the oldest, like 40 or something, and I didn’t think much of it at first cause my dad is like, almost 50 and he still looks alright," reasoned the young adult, maintaining the appropriate amount of aloofness a teenage boy must have to be cool. "But Hattie’s shown me that since we’re so young, we really have to overcompensate to sell it. That’s why I dyed my hair gray and will be wearing dentures for the shows."
Thankfully, this controversy has not had a significant effect on Rogers’s working relationship with the Wheeling Community Theatre. Following A Chorus Line’s closing this weekend, Rogers will return to the stage in WCT’s production of Annie, playing the titular role while wearing a diaper and crawling on all fours, embodying the age of the character as closely as possible.