As Teatru Manoel Youth Theatre is staging HUSH, an original musical, directed and composed by Denise Mulholland and Luke Saydon, its actress of the Clementine Pickles role tells Eve about her dreams to study in the UK and memories of her first acting experience.

With a BA in Theatre Studies under her belt, the 24-year-old has been performing professionally on the local theatrical scene since 2012 and is a member of Teatru Manoel Youth Theatre since 2015. Her credits with TMYT include; Disco Pigs (2016) as Runt, and CLUB (2016) performed at the Chrysalis Festival (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh). On top of this, Tina played Kate in She Stoops to Conquer (MADC, 2017), Diane in Birthday Suit (Masquerade, 2017) and Principal Boy, Jack of Hearts, in Alice Wonderland (Masquerade Pantomime, 2017-2018).

Photo credit: Svetlana S. Pandolfino

Eve: You have been performing professionally on the local theatrical scene since 2012. What inspired you to go for acting?

Tina Rizzo: My parents have always been very supportive. As many parents do, they tried to find a fun extra-curricular activity for me. They first enrolled me at a local ballet school at the age of five, but after two years they knew it was not for me. To their delight, they found an advert for a summer drama workshop with a new performing arts company, Masquerade. I participated in that drama workshop and became a student till 2013.

Eve: What do you remember about your first theatrical appearance?

TR: I remember feeling very nervous. I was only seven years old. I was really excited just to be in costume and make-up. It was my grade 1 group Trinity College London exam with Masquerade, where we had to present a short story along with some singing and dancing. Even though I was nervous throughout the exam, I felt very proud of myself afterwards that I remembered all my lines and dance moves. I just enjoyed the whole idea of playing and pretending to be a different character.

Eve: When you’re not acting, what do you do that gives you equal pleasure?

TR: Teaching drama and working with kids! Apart from acting full-time, I’m also a drama teacher and I enjoy the children’s energy and their perspective on life. I find it refreshing, especially when stuck in a routine. Even though I am still learning myself – and I will continue to train and gain skills throughout the years – I enjoy passing on my knowledge and skills to my students. I want them to enjoy drama as much as I did when I was growing up.

Eve: What has been the highlight of the last five years, since you’ve been performing professionally on the local theatrical scene?

TR: My highlight would definitely be in 2015, when I joined TMYT. I have learnt how to devise, create and develop my own concepts in theatre. TMYT has provided a platform for me, where I can take the skills I’ve learnt and use them in the local and foreign industry.
In 2017 I had the opportunity to develop a performance entitled Tainted Love (part the performance; Shakespeare in Pieces). This piece was created, performed and directed by Becky Camilleri and myself. Together we had the opportunity to devise our performance by writing the script and even creating the set and costumes.

Eve: Any future plans you can share with us?

TR: Apart from a few productions lined up for the rest of the year, I’m also in the process of applying for my MA in Classical and Contemporary Text in the UK. So while juggling rehearsals and performances, I’ll also be flying up and down throughout the year for auditions and interviews. Then hopefully if all goes to plan, in September 2018 I will be studying acting in the UK.