Joshua Archer displays comedic energy in “The Music Man”

Joshua Archer | Photo by Shi Lessner Photography

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The Hartland Drama Club Troupe #4213 presents Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” April 26-28 and May 2, 4 and 5. From now until opening night, we will be introducing you to members of the production. Today, we meet Joshua Archer who plays Marcellus Washburn, the classic sidekick to Harold Hill who has been immortalized by comedic greats like Buddy Hackett. 

Joshua Archer’s Hartland High School years will be remembered not only by the many friends he’s made, but also by the tapestry of characters he’s portrayed as one of the Drama Club’s leading performers. The talented sophomore returns to the stage this spring as Marcellus Washburn in family favorite “The Music Man.”

According to Archer, being part of Drama Club has given him the chance to grow in many areas of knowledge and skill.

“Having multiple opportunities to portray different types and styles of characters, and watching my fellow actors thoroughly, has helped me to grow my abilities,” he said. “I’m so fortunate to say I have somewhere I truly belong.”

The son of Brandy and Jeremy Archer and brother to siblings Gwen and Josie, Archer is also the technology officer for Drama Club and involved in choir. For his role as the comedic and energetic Marcellus, Archer — a lover of classic movies — researched Buddy Hacket’s portrayal of the character in the 1962 film version.

“Marcellus is a bit like a kid,” he said,” and in being a child in an adult’s body, he sets an example, along with his wife, to the stubborn Iowans that it’s okay to have fun once in a while. I like to think both Marcellus and I bring a lighthearted approach to any situation. After all, the world goes around, and the best thing to do is spin right around with it!”

Archer says the musical, set in the fictional River City, Iowa, is a challenging production for its cast due to the amount and type of dancing involved — a challenge they mastered through months of rehearsals and one he hopes audiences will appreciate.

“I just hope we can give them about two and a half hours to take a break from the chaos of life and just laugh, enjoy themselves and look back on the simple troubles of a small town,” he said.

The Hartland Drama Club Troupe #4213 is presenting Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27; at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, and Saturday, May 4; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $13 for seniors and students, and available for purchase at For every ticket sold for the Thursday, May 2, performance, $1 will be donated to the Humane Society of Livingston County. All performances will be held at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road, Hartland.

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