Meet Chinguun Sergelen

September 24, 2017

Meet Chinguun Sergelen, a young Chicago actor in the play, "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder presented by Redtwist Theatre, running until October 29, 2017. A Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece of the 20th century is brought lovingly into the 21st century. Redtwist Associate Artistic Director James Fleming directs an intimate production of this American classic as a love letter to Chicago’s many communities and a reminder that life’s most ordinary moments are often the most profound. Tickets can be purchased here.

What is your personal story?
My name is Chinguun Sergelen Mongolian American boy who loves acting and to entertain people. My mom started putting me in my Park districts plays, I really enjoyed them. So I asked my mom to sign me up with acting classes and I signed up John Casablanca's for 3 year acting & modeling program. Half year later, I got auditioned for the Launch Showcase of Midwest Talent competition and I was selected. I had no idea about the Launch ShowCase but we prepared for 6 month. Launch Showcase was a huge event that almost 250 talented kids participated all over the Midwest in June 2016. Unbelievable story is I was awarded a " Rising Star Full Scholarship " and received callbacks from 15 talent agents for their representation from NY, LA, Chicago. This wonderful experience helped me to realize that I should continue pursue a career in performing art industry & helped me strongly to believe in myself. So happy to signed up Gray Talent Group & honored to be represented by them today & never stopped working since. I truly grateful for the Launch ShowCase and GTG and my amazing talented 2 private acting coaches Janet Milstein and Stef Tovar. They are the best coaches in the world. I feel so lucky to having them and enjoy learning & improving my acting skills with their wise lead. 

Who is your character in Our Town?
The entire story is based on 2 families Dr. Gibbs and editor Webb’s family. 1901 to 1913 Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire near Massachusetts. Dr.Gibbs and his wife Mrs.Julia has 2 children. There son is George and there daughter is Rebecca Gibbs. Editor Charles Webb and Mrs Myrtle Webb has 2 children. There daughter Emily and son Wally Webb. The character I’m portraying is Wally Webb who is Emily’s younger brother. I die of a burst appendix on my Boy Scout camping trip. 

What challenge does your character face telling this story?
My characters story is that he is the younger brother of Emily and loves her very much, but also wants attention. He would like to share some attention with his sister Emily. But, Wally felt that he didn’t get enough attention from his family because all of it goes Emily. All attention naturally goes to Emily because she is leading role of the OUR TOWN. Our town play is about LOVE & LIFE and Death tragedy of the 2 main characters George and Emily.  

How does you character overcome this challenge?
Our Town has a three Acts .Act I is about the "Daily life " of the 2 families. During act I we have a breakfast scene. I do silly things to get attention from my mom like I stand up and talk loud during the breakfast because, I don't get all the attention because it goes to my sister Emily. Also, I tried to ask questions to my dad but he won’t call on me. 

Act II is about the "Love and Marriage " of George and my sister Emily. I do fun stuff & I do a silly face at wedding scene in order to make a distraction and to get attention from my sister Emily, that action encourages everybody to laugh. That moment is my favorite scene because i can be silly and funny. 

Act III is about the "Death Tragedy " of my lovely sister Emily and how tragedy effects everybody’s life. This is super dramatic and a very sad scene that makes everybody cry, especially my real mother. She kept crying at the first table reading and rehearsal through openings. My sister Emily dies giving birth to her second child. Emily fights to go back "Alive " during the funeral scene. Everybody that’s dead tells her not to go back alive, but she won’t listen. This scene is most challenging and hard for me… because I’m sitting down 35 min as a dead person on stage. I have to be absolutely still and react subtly. The whole experience was a difficult & interesting challenge to act as dead child.I have secrets for me how to handle act three. ( I was smiling during the rehearsal & moving a lot too) But, I’m so grateful to having this opportunity to learning how to be patient, control my emotions. Although this is a wonderful chance to watch entire ACT III instead of being behind the scenes, I’m watching and listening to all great and experienced actors who are playing role of a" alive or dead “ person. Also, it is very helpful to understand the meaning of the message of the playwright: Thornton Wilder and his famous quotes as “ Oh, Earth you’re too Wonderful for anybody to realize you" and “ Does anybody realize Life while they’re Living it every every minute". I got so used to it and i can recognize it from anywhere.

Any comments?
Our Town play is a very sad & beautiful play. You will experience the season changes as rainy day snowing day , sunny days all under the light of beautiful full moon also, the story draw your emotions as a happy, excited, lovely... disappointed and sad. I hope everyone watch this dramatic play at least once. It has been a wonderful learning journey with amazing talented cast & creative crews. Our townies are rocks! Deeply appreciated to director James Fleming and Redtwist theatre company for this entire amazing experience & opportunity! 

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Mia Park
Mia Park shares her passion of discovery through teaching yoga and acting. Currently studying acupuncture and Chinese medicine, Mia is also a producer, writer, motivator, and celebrator of life. Mia has lived in Chicago for over twenty years and calls this city that works her home.

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DePaul student Harmony Zhang ​acts in The House of Bernarda Alba​​ by Federico García Lorca, directed by Jeremy Aluma​. ​Lorca’s final play set in the provincial Andalusia, Spain, ignites with the funeral service of Bernarda Alba’s second husband. Ever determined that her five grown daughters maintain a house of honor, Bernarda declares they will have an eight-year mourning period of absolute seclusion. When the eldest daughter receives a large inheritance, potentially sweeping her away from this fate and into an engagement with a handsome bachelor, conflict brews among the sisters repressed by Bernarda’s rule. Set in a time of tumultuous political climate, this story explores the underbelly of what happens when a tyrant seizes power. The House of Bernarda Alba runs Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM November 7, through November 12, 2017. Free tickets can be reserved on October 27, 2017 at noon at the box office, by calling 773-325-7900, or emailing Press Opening is Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 7:30 PM. **Preview is Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM. The House of Bernarda Alba will be performed in Room 403 of The Theatre School at DePaul University at 2350 N Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 What's your personal story? I grew up in Tucson, Arizona as one of very few Chinese Americans in my neighborhood. I remember that my sister and I were the only Chinese kids in my whole elementary school. However, my family attended a Chinese church in downtown Tucson, and I also attended Tucson Chinese School where I learned to read and write Mandarin Chinese. I’m very thankful for the persistence that my parents had to have my sister and me grow up learning Chinese and holding on to our ethnic culture. However, growing up, I felt like I was never fully Chinese nor fully American. I didn’t feel the need to blend in with the other kids, but I also desired to connect better with others. An opportunity came up in kindergarten when the entire grade put on a show for the whole school. This was the first time that I felt like I was part of a team, part of a larger group effort to create something fun and beautiful. I remember that year, our production was called ‘To the Future and Beyond,’ and I sang the final solo of the show. In middle school and high school, I continued to take drama classes whenever possible. I loved learning about the lives of people so different from me, memorizing my lines, and sharing those stories with audiences. In college at Duke University, I decided to major in Psychology and Theater Studies, and also performed in three of the Theater Department’s Mainstage shows. Currently, I’m in my second year of my MFA in Acting program at The Theatre School at DePaul University. What's your character's story in "The House of Bernarda Alba”? My character’s name is Angustias, which means anguish or distress. She is the eldest unmarried daughter of Bernarda Alba and is already 39. Angustias is the sole daughter of Bernarda Alba’s former husband, while the rest of her sisters are the daughters of Antonio Maria Benavides, the man they are all mourning at the top of the show. Angustias’ father was rich, so when Antonio Maria Benavides dies and the property must be divided, Angustias’ share of the estate is much larger than that of her sisters. This wealth that Angustias has is then attractive to Pepe, who is trying to marry her, and while Angustias truly believes that he loves her for her, she really just wants to be loved and free from the oppression and alienation she feels within the walls of Bernarda’s house. What challenges does your character face telling this story? Angustias is constantly struggling with the antagonistic energy she receives from her sisters. No matter what she does, her sisters find some way to make her feel even more alienated and separate from the group. No one really gives her a chance to share more about herself. Angustias is always defending herself, but somehow it always comes off as offensive towards her sisters. She doesn’t feel understood. She wants her mother’s approval, but also doesn’t feel fully understood by her either. Angustias has a hard time in this story, because she doesn’t feel like anyone is on her side. How does the character overcome those challenges? Angustias changes throughout the play—I won’t give away too much, but in some ways, Angustias is redeemed from all of her bitterness at the end of the play when her sisters discover how they have wronged her. While Angustias behaved more out of spite at the top of the show, she begins to genuinely ask for help, advice, and empathy at the end of the play. Angustias overcomes her challenges of alienation towards the end of the play when she risks being judged by her mother and sisters by being more vulnerable, and seeking to find the truth, even if she gets hurt in the end. Any other comments? I hope that this play helps audience members to be thankful for the people in life who love them, to hold them close, and to try to understand each other instead of being blinded by individual desires. Why not work together? Why not be a team and create something beautiful? Life is too short not to make the most of it every day. Thank you so much for your time!
Mia Park