The Howell High School Arts Department is presenting “Guys and Dolls” April 12-14. From now until opening night, we will be introducing to members of the production. Today, we meet Ben Dean, who plays Sky Masterson, a charming but self-assured gambler who, despite his failings, is immensely likeable and oozes style.
Ben Dean, 16, is a Howell High School junior who loves being involved in choir, drama, and government. When he graduates from school, he hopes to study sociology at Wayne State University to become a behavioral scientist, and then to eventually run for public office. His father and stepmother are Bryan and Lisa Dean, and his other and stepfather are Rosanne and Adam Cody. He has a sister, Evie Dean.
Dean loves being involved with “Guys and Dolls” because it is a blend of singing and acting, “which are two of my biggest passions,” he said.
He almost didn’t audition for the play. “With the support of my amazing friends and our incredible director I gave it a shot,” he said. “I am so thankful I did.”
Dean has been in four shows at Howell School, and one with the Community Theatre of Howell. Most recently, he was in “Twelfth Night” as Orsino, a head-over-heels-in-love noble.
“My favorite of productions is the bond between director and actor, and between the cast in general,” Dean said. “Every show is different and unique in its own way, which is part of the reason I’d say I’m addicted to doing productions.”
Dean said he made some of his closest friends in these productions.
Among Dean’s inspirations are his parents who he describes as “incredibly strong, and have been with my sister and me every step of the way in our passions. They are real-life superheroes, if you ask me,” he said, adding that Bernie Sanders and Tom Hardy are his biggest non-family member inspirations.
Dean enjoys the process of creating a character. For “Guys and Dolls,” Dean took his inspiration from famous people, and used charter development tools to play him.
“The weirdest things shape a character,” Dean said.
His favorite part of the play is the process of seeing how “you go from having no clue what you’re going to do with a character, contrasted with opening night and relishing in the finished product.”
The audience for “Guys and Dolls” should expect a “fantastic, quality and hilarious show where the passion clearly shines through,” he said.
Howell High School’s Performing Arts Department is presenting “Guys and Dolls” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14.. Tickets are $10 for students/seniors and $12 for adults and can be purchased in the Howell High School main office and online at http://howellperformingarts.ludus.com. All performances will be held in the Howell High School Rod Bushey Performing Arts Center.