Each month, Penny & Pound Theatre Productions is proud to shine a light on past and present alumni who are making a difference in the KW arts community.
In April, we introduce P&P performer Matteo Faustini (he/him), who made his debut as Jack in our inaugural production of INTO THE WOODS (2015). He later appeared as THE MALL RAT in the interactive ghost walk, THE SPIRITS OF MALLOWE'EN (2015). After a brief hiatus, Matteo will be returning as a performer in our 2023 fundraising event PLAY ON! premiering at The Cambridge Centre for the Arts on Saturday, May 13th.
WHO ARE YOU? My name is Matteo Faustini. My pronouns are he/him and I am 20 years old from Cambridge ON, now living in Toronto. I have been singing since I was 8 years old and that’s when I really started to fall in love with Musical Theatre. DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH POST-SECONDARY THEATRE I was fortunate and lucky enough to go to one of my dream musical theatre schools; Randolph College for the Performing Arts and I learned more in those two years than I have my entire life performing. I was given opportunities that I never would’ve considered or given thought to out of fear, like getting to go on as the Sky Masterson understudy for Randolph’s production of Guys and Dolls. I have gained so much confidence as a performer and I owe so much of that to the faculty that always pushed me to be my best. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PAST PERFORMANCE? My favorite performance I’ve been a part of is actually a project I had to do at Randolph. It was a group project and we were tasked with basically writing our own original musical. To this day I have never felt so creatively driven and I’m still so incredibly proud of the work me and my group did. It highlighted the beauty of queer relationships and it’s very special to me.
HOW HAS YOUR TIME WITH PENNY & POUND INFLUENCED YOU? I really owe so much of my love for performing and musical theatre to Penny and Pound. I know 100% I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. They accepted me into their first ever production even though I didn’t quite reach the age requirement. I knew I needed to be performing for years to come and that’s what I continue to do today. Thank you Penny and Pound for fueling my love for musical theatre. WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER EMERGING ARTISTS? I would say to never stop honing your craft and practicing. There are going to be periods of time where you might not be performing on a stage and you might feel like you’re stuck in a rut. I’ve definitely been feeling like this the past couple of months. What’s gotten me through it is keeping up with my vocal lessons. Just having that one hour to sing whatever I want completely makes me feel at ease.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU? Now that I’m graduated, life pretty much consists of auditioning for whatever I can find. I’m really excited to play Warren in KWLT’s production of Ordinary Days! This role has been at the top of my list for a while and I’m also just so excited to perform again. It’ll be my first time singing on a stage since August!
HOW DO YOU THINK THE WATERLOO REGION CAN BETTER SUPPORT YOUNG ARTISTS? I would love to see more options available for artists starting their own theatre company in terms of funding. Every artist knows truly how truly under funded we are as a community and the truth is that art is a necessity and these local theatre companies are vital to every young performer.
Matteo Faustini as Jack (left) and Hannah Dunn as Jack's Mother (right) in INTO THE WOODS (2015.) | Photo by Corina Dunn
WANT TO STAY CONNECTED WITH MATTEO? INSTAGRAM: @matteofaustini_