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    Westerly resident Rochelle Weinrauch and co-star Tom Andrew portray Sarah Brown and Sky Masterson in the Ocean State Theatre production of "Guys& Dolls." | Courtesy of Mark Turek

    Granite acting veteran grabs her dream role in ‘Guys & Dolls’

    WESTERLY — Rochelle Weinrauch spends a lot of time making children’s dreams come true. Her business, Simply Enchanted, brings singing fairy tale characters and Disney princesses to life for children’s parties and events.

    Now, it seems, her own childhood dreams are coming to life.

    A familiar face at the Granite Theatre, Weinrauch, 32, is making her debut with the Ocean State Theatre Company in “Guys & Dolls” as leading lady Sarah Brown.

    In the musical, which premiered on Broadway in 1950, Sarah is the prim and proper leader of the Save-A-Soul Mission who falls in love with gangster Sky Masterson. The role is sure to stretch Weinrauch’s boundaries as an actress with the task of portraying a naïve, love-struck woman who struggles to overcome past prejudices and follow her heart.

    “I’ve wanted to be Sarah Brown since high school,” Weinrauch said. “So I guess this is kind of like a dream come true.”

    Originally from Lebanon, Conn., Weinrauch started getting involved with theater when she was in middle school and has been acting ever since. Her experience with the Granite Theatre started in 2008 when she landed the role of Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” just a year after she moved to Westerly. Since then, she has acted in a number of shows including her most recent performance as Maria in “The Sound of Music.”

    Working with the Ocean State Theatre Company, a regional theater company in Warwick, has been a step out of her comfort zone, but according to the actress it has been a great learning experience.

    With only two weeks of rehearsal, Weinrauch said it has been a new challenge finding her character in such a short amount of time.

    She said she has been working hard with the cast and crew to make her debut with the company seemingly effortless.

    She especially credited the director, Russell Garret, and musical director, Justin P. Cowan, in helping her transform her voice from singing as fairy tale princess to a mature woman.

    “It’s kind of like beating habits out of your body,” she said. “It’s a challenge, but a good one.”

    Weinrauch graduated from Central Connecticut State University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in acting and extensive experience with improvisation. She began working on her improv skills at Lyman Memorial High School in Lebanon, when she and her friends would play “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?”

    She later went on to join her university’s improvisation team called “The Schlockdogz,” worked with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York City and most recently performed with a Warwick improv troupe, the Unexpected Company.

    Weinrauch also has experience in costume design.

    In high school, her grandmother taught her to sew when she was in need of a Dorothy costume for “The Wizard of Oz.” Now, most of her costume making experience comes from constructing many of the enchanted gowns that bring children’s favorite fairy tale characters to life.

    The Ocean State Theatre Company’s production of “Guys & Dolls” will run through July 27.

    To purchase tickets, visit ostcri.org or call 401-921-6800.



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