Wally Calderon: Former ‘Albert Peterson’ Still in Theater Business

Mattea Vecera, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

In her wild and wacky week of production Mattea Vecera caught up with Wally Calderon, another former star of Bye Bye Birdie.

Q: What was your role in Bye Bye Birdie?

A: I played the role of Albert Peterson, such a great role and experience. I was honored to be cast to play it, and it definitely pushed and stretched me on all fronts.


Q: Why did you participate in the musical?

A: I knew I had an interest in theatre and was in the process of deciding if it was a career path I wanted to pursue, so I wanted to continue testing the waters and see if I truly had that passion and fire (which I did). Also because it was “home.” I loved the shows of course, but I loved the people. Putting something together with a group of people that I loved being around and creating friendships with–that was the true reward.


Q: What are your favorite memories from the musical?

A: So many laughs!  Again, it just felt like goofing around with my best friends. I loved doing shows with my two best friends, Chris Hibbard and Steve Marzolf.  We had so much fun. Working side by side with Ryan Rentmeester (Birdie) was hilarious. Nicole Deming (Mae) was just ridiculous and amazing. I loved doing “Happy Face” every time! And absolutely loved working with one of my closest friends Kerri Hearden (Rosie), This was also my first stage kiss– haha! I was so nervous so one night she just came storming on stage and planted one on me as everyone was watching and laughing in the wings. It was just a blast of a show! (Current Director Andrea Motl was also in the show with me!)


Q: Was this the only show you participated in?

A: Nope, I did the musicals each year (Cheaper By the Dozen, Carousel, Birdie, and Guys and Dolls) along with some plays, other projects and the Swing Choir.


Q: Are you still in contact with some of your cast?

A: Occasionally through social media I am able to connect with some. Chris H. and I still chat. And I keep in touch with Mrs.Teresa Schmidt (director) and Mrs. Andrea Hearden (choreographer).


Q: What is your current profession?

A: I am the Artistic Director for Servant Stage Company, a non-profit theatre company in Lancaster, PA.


Q: So you are still involved in theatre?

A: Absolutely! Went on to study Theatre Performance and Directing in college, performed for roughly 10 years, and transitioned into directing and choreography. I spent five years at Sight & Sound Theatres in Lancaster, PA, as a director/choreographer before landing in my current position.


Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A: Hopefully just a better version of myself but right where I am now–still working hard at my craft while being the best husband and father I can be.


Q:How often do you get back to Green Bay?

A: I try to get back every other year to visit my mom who still lives in Green Bay.


Q: Have you thought of coming back for Alumni Night?

A: I was in Green Bay over Christmas/New Years, so I unfortunately won’t be able to make it back. Wish I could! I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful!