SFGN readers who get the chance to see the Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical, Annie, which runs from Dec 3 through Dec 22, will have the good fortune to see a young gay actor named Schuyler Beeman. If his performance on stage is anywhere near his ebullience in a recent interview, Annie goers are in for an extra treat.
Maltz has been doing some fantastic productions in the past few seasons and this run of Annie should keep up the pace where Beeman plays a significant role.
In addition to five parts in the ensemble: Hooverville Man 5, Pierre the butler, Sailor, SFX Man, and Howe, Beeman is the animal handler managing the stage presence of Macy who plays the role of Sandy, Annie’s ever faithful dog – a critical part of the production.
Schuyler Beeman is a multi-faceted artist who lists himself as an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and model. He has led something of a charmed life in his brief 25 years as the only child of Mary and Jeff Beeman who have been supportive of everything he has done including coming out to them as gay.
“Wellll,” Beeman said, elongating the “l” and hesitating slightly in response to a question about his parents learning the news. “I have to admit, it was hard at the beginning but we’ve figured it out. In fact they loved my boyfriend, Greg (yes the one in the playbill), when I brought him home a while ago.”
Born in New Haven and raised in Guilford, CT, Beeman attended Middlebury College in Vermont, initially majoring in biology.
“I’ve always been an animal lover,” he said. “I was planning a career as a zoo habitat designer. I loved theater too and was in my first play in seventh grade, but I didn’t think you could make a living at it.”
In his sophomore year he came out and switched to a theater major. “I saw a student written play in my first semester and decided that if another student could do that, I wanted to do it too.”
And he did with a variety of plays and musicals for the rest of his college career and beyond. Then performance opportunities dried up and he didn’t get cast for two years.
A year ago, Bill Berloni, the world renowned animal trainer for theater, movies, TV and more asked Beeman if he’d like to become an animal handler. Beeman jumped at the chance and is glad he did.
“It’s the perfect job for me,” he said. “I love animals and I love theater and here I have them both.”
When asked if he thought being gay had held him back in getting roles he demurred. “Being gay has nothing to do with your ability to play a role,” he said. If a role calls for someone to behave in a particular way, you behave that way.”
Beeman is currently dating actor Greg London. They don’t live together, yet, but plan to share an apartment in New York City when both are scheduled to be there for work next year.
“It will be a relief to have someone to be with in the city,” he said. “I lived there before and even in the midst of all those people I often found myself lonely and alone. It can grind you down.”
“We’ve talked about getting married and having kids,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to have a family and I think Greg does, too. The good thing is that we can discuss things openly and share our hopes and dreams. It’s a wonderful experience.”
When asked about his experience at Maltz, Beeman said, “This theater is top notch. I’ve never felt so taken care of. I’m really grateful to be here.”
The theater is located at 1001 Indiantown Road in Jupiter. Tickets for Annie start at $52 and may be purchased by calling (561) 575-2223 or visiting www.jupitertheatre.org/shows/Annie.