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Five Questions With Harrison Owner of Mamaroneck Theater

MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Daniel Ferrante is the owner, director and, occassionally, an actor for the Westchester Sandbox Theatre, located at 931 E. Boston Post Road. in Mamaroneck. He opened the theater in 2008, along with a partner, as a second branch for the Cultural Arts Playhouse on Long Island. Ferrante bought his partner out in late 2009 and reopened the theater under it's current name in January 2010. He moved to Harrison around that time to be closer to the theater. Ferrante has been acting since he was 12 and will feed his passion when he stars in his theather's production of "Little Shop of Horrors" as Seymour on Saturday, July 9.

The Daily Mamaroneck sat down with the renaissance man of Mamaroneck theater Friday.

How did you come to own a theater?

I worked in a theater on Long Island, the Cultural Arts Playhouse, to make my way through college. I finished college, and the gentleman I worked for made me this off to partner up for an expansion into Westchester.

How did you select Mamaroneck for the theater's location?

We were looking at buildings that would suite our purposes, in terms of size and height of ceilings. And we started to settle on this side of Westchester, the Long Island Sound side. The building was right and we loved the town. We were looking at a range of different theaters, large and small, and this one worked the best for our purposes.

How do you prepare for a role like Seymour in "Little Shop of Horrors"?

It's all about rehearsal. Everything I find, I find on stage. You learn your lines off stage. But all the preparation happens just going through it. As you go through it, you find new things. It's all about doing it and trying new things every time you do it.

I love this show, so the role is something i've always wanted to do. I've played other roles in this show several times, professionally. We have a great show, a very well prepared cast and it's going to be a lot of fun.

What's the biggest difference between acting and directing?

The work load is different. As Seymour, I'm responsible for Seymour. As the director of a show, I'm responsible for everyone and the direction that the show will take. My version of "Little Shop of Horrors" would look different and sound different, because the whole direction that the show is going to go in comes from the top down.

What's the best part of your job, and the hardest part of your job?

I love working with people the best. No matter what i'm doing. When there's good people in here, whether it be professional actors, or the kids we work with, it's all about the people.

The hardest part of the job is the number of moving parts in a show, from lights to sound to sets. Everything is on a schedule, and every one thing has to work for all the others to work.

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