When a group like Home Made Theater puts on a show like "Inspecting Carol," it's not at all autobiographical.
Daniel Sullivan's play from 1991 may be about a dysfunctional theater company that takes itself much too seriously, but according to Robin Leary, the story isn't hitting too close to home. Leary, a regular at Home Made since it's inception in 1985 and part of this production being directed by Jonathan Hefter, says there's no comparison between the troupe in Sullivan's play and the people who have produced shows at the Spa Little Theater for more than three decades.
"Home Made is a very comfortable place for an actor to work because you know they're always taking care of the technical stuff," said Leary, a New Hampshire native who grew up in New Jersey. "They always have very high production values. You never have to worry about all the other stuff. It's all fun."
Her first play at Home Made, "The Man Who Came to Dinner" back in 1985, was also her first theatrical performance. Prior to that experience her artistic endeavors were musical.
"I played in pit bands in high school, but acting was always something I wanted to try," said Leary. "I actually wanted to audition for a play my sophomore year, but it turned out that it was during the marching band season so I couldn't."
Since getting her start in acting, however, she hasn't stopped or even slowed down. Most recently, she's been in Home Made Theater productions of "Calender Girls," "Witness for the Prosecution" and "Boeing Boeing," to name a few. She's also performed at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham, most recently in "Steel Magnolias," and with Confetti Stage in "Agnes of God."
"Acting is the thing that feeds my soul," said Leary. "I really enjoy the whole process of putting a show together. I love learning my part and working with great friends."
Leary, who was Hefter's music teacher in sixth grade in the Saratoga Springs City School District, will be joined onstage by Marilyn Detmer, Ron DeLucia, Charles Fitz-Gerald, Devin Funnye, Andrew MacHenry, David Mann, Joan Meyer and Mark Todaro. William Fitz is the scenic designer and Laurie Larson is the costume designer.
"I didn't know that much about this show, but it's a comedy and comedy is always fun," said Leary. "The premise is a bit crazy because it's about a not-so-good theater company that is getting bored doing their usual Christmas production of 'A Christmas Carol.' They're also in financial straits and they're worried about losing their NEA funding because an evaluator is coming to the show. But there is some mistaken identity and the evaluator is actually a bad actor."
As much as she loves acting, Leary says she could also see herself directing in the future.
"I would love to do some directing," she said. "I haven't done any yet and it's hard to get started. But I do love acting. If there's a part for me I audition, and I'll keep on auditioning as long as they'll let me."
WHERE: Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs
WHEN: Opens Friday and runs through Feb. 25; performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $27-$24
MORE INFO: 518-587-4427, or visit www.homemadetheater.org