ALAMEDA -- Being a dance hall girl in Germany one night and a prophetic witch in Scotland the next might leave most young women with an identity crisis, but not so for Alameda's Allie Villa.

The senior at Syracuse University is spending her summer touring with New York's Red House Arts Center, performing in two of the company's three summer shows.

"I play Texas, one of the Kit Kat Girls, in 'Cabaret' and one of the witches in 'Macbeth.' We also do 'Shrek,' but I'm not in that show," Villa explained. "The company is a mix of professional actors who belong to Actor's Equity and non-union performers like myself."

The shows first perform outdoors at the Red House Arts Center in Syracuse, where opening night of "Cabaret" was rained out.

"We got through Act I but then had to stop because the equipment, costumes and props were getting so damaged," Villa said. That shouldn't be a problem when the company moves to the Adirondack Summer Playhouse since "Cabaret" will be performed in an Austrian mirrored circus tent called a Spiegeltent.

"It's a very cool tent, but it takes all day to put it up and another day to take it down so we're pretty busy even off stage," she said.

When not singing and dancing in "Cabaret," Villa will be stretching her acting abilities as one of the fortune-telling witches in Shakespeare's "Macbeth." The Red House adaptation of the Bard's famous tragedy has six actors performing all the roles.


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"It's really exciting because it stresses how the witches are very much in control of everything, how they manipulate everyone," Villa said. "I also play King Duncan, but I do it as the witch playing Duncan. I had never done Shakespeare before so I was really nervous going into it, but it's worked out pretty great."

Following performances at the Summer Playhouse atop Gore Mountain with breathtaking views of the Adirondacks, Villa and her fellow performers will tour the area performing in very small towns.

"I'm really looking forward to performing for people who seldom see theater, "Villa said. "Also, when you're performing outside, you never know what's going to happen. I've certainly had to deal with my share of bugs."

Villa got her start in theater while a seventh-grade student at Chipman Middle School.

"Mr. Morehead from Encinal High needed kids to play the Von Trapp children in his production of 'The Sound of Music,' Villa said. "I was lucky enough to get cast and realized how much I liked performing. When I went on to Encinal High, I got really involved with the drama department, doing all the musicals and some of the non-musicals before I graduated in 2010."

As a double major in Public Communications and Spanish, Villa didn't think she would have time for theater, but she couldn't resist trying out for Syracuse University's all freshman production. Before she knew it, she was auditioning at the Red House, a few miles off campus.

"I just really like performing, and it was great to realize I could still do theater and keep up with all my school work," Villa said.

The busy 20-year-old is also combining schoolwork and theater while on tour in the Adirondacks by doing a public relations internship with the Red House during "Shrek," the one show in which she doesn't perform.

"My dream job is to pair PR with something like theater that I'm passionate about," Villa said. "I'd love to work for an arts center, hopefully, in San Francisco because as much as I like the East Coast, I also miss home."

Bringing a little bit of home to the East Coast, Villa's mother Carolyn traveled to Syracuse to catch "Cabaret" in late June.

"It was great having her here and we'll just have time to visit family in Massachusetts before I start touring in the shows," Villa said. "It's quite a summer."