Ask an Apprentice: Naomi Zhanel Kalter

Posted June 26, 2023

Naomi Aa A

Get to know more about our 2023 Acting Apprentices before you see them onstage this summer! Today, we're chatting with Naomi Zhanel Kalter, who you might recognize as our fabulous Anne Page in Merry Wives. Join the fun as we talk about finding your big voice for up the Hill, the APT community and learning from the pros. Read on for more!

Learn more about Naomi by checking out her 2023 bio!

APT: Hi, Naomi! Welcome to APT! How has your first summer here been so far?
Naomi Zhanel Kalter: My first season at APT so far has been amazing! I was truly shocked by how genuine and kind everyone is here. I am really thankful to be working and learning from such incredible artists. It’s been a joy to get to work outside under the beautiful stars. I can’t wait for what the rest of the season holds!

APT: That's fantastic! Can you share with us a little bit about yourself? What's been your journey to APT this summer?
Naomi Zhanel Kalter:
I graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California in May 2022 with a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies. After that, I got to work as an apprentice at the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company which was a really fun experience. This past fall I was lucky enough to work as an Emerging Professional Resident at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. I learned a lot about acting and myself at both places. During my time in Milwaukee I was able to meet and audition for the wonderful Carey Cannon which is how I found myself here!

APT: What has it been like attending apprentice workshops and classes while simultaneously working in rehearsal? Is there any overlap with what you're doing in the apprentice program and what you're preparing for onstage?
Naomi Zhanel Kalter:
I have really loved attending classes. I feel like I haven’t even been here that long and have learned so so much already. It’s been a really fun and unique experience learning specifically about how to act on stage up the Hill. I didn’t know there were so many ways to use your voice when working in such a big outdoor space! I feel like each class has pushed me a lot and continues to help make me a stronger actress and artist. I am extremely grateful to all the Voice and Text coaches. Each of them brings something different to the classes they are teaching and I have loved learning from all of them. I also have to specifically thank Sara Becker for all of her extensive wisdom and kindness. I have learned so much from her about language, books, and acting. I could
not be more grateful for the time I have spent with her.

APT: Do you have a favorite memory from this season so far?
Naomi Zhanel Kalter: I think one of my favorite memories of the season so far was the company picnic. It was really cool to get to share that experience with everyone and see how many people are in this APT community!

APT: Are there any artists in particular that you've really learned a lot from so far?
Naomi Zhanel Kalter:
I feel like I have learned a lot from watching all of the actors onstage! All of them are so unique and talented, so it’s really fun watching all of them do the incredible work that they do onstage. It’s been a pleasure sitting in the room watching Tim OceI work! And I have specifically learned a lot from everyone in the cast of The Liar. It’s also been a wonderful experience to work with and learn from Tracy Michele Arnold and Jim Ridge. Both are always open to talking with me about the work and sharing their extensive knowledge and kindness.

APT: Have you had an opportunity to explore the Spring Green area at all this summer?
Naomi Zhanel Kalter:
I have loved going to all of the little shops in the downtown Spring Green area! It's really fun to stop and get some coffee or a sweet treat on the way to rehearsal. I also really enjoy walking in the neighborhoods downtown. Being so close to the Wisconsin River definitely has its perks! It's a really beautiful spot to go and read in the sun or even go for a swim!

APT: When not onstage or performing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Naomi Zhanel Kalter: When I'm not onstage, I really love hanging out and catching up with my friends and family over the phone. I could not do the work that I do without the support they give me. I enjoy writing when I have the time. I also love journaling and writing fun letters to send to my friends! I am also big into going on walks and listening to some great music!

APT: Okay, Naomi, here's your Wild Card Question! You've got some major Shakespeare under your belt, including this summer's Merry Wives and Romeo & Juliet. Is there any specific play or role in Shakespeare's canon that you'd love to be a part of - be it tomorrow or 40 years from now?
Naomi Zhanel Kalter:
I would really love a chance to play Marina in Pericles or get the chance to be in Midsummer someday! Also, Lady M would definitely be a dream!