March 23, actor Paul Dooley will return to Parkersburg High School where he graduated in 1945 to give an acting workshop to students in the area who are interested in pursuing acting. Dooley has been acting for nearly five decades, and his most notable roles include Jim Baker from “Sixteen Candles”, Mr. Spritzer from “Hairspray”, and Sarge from the “Cars” franchise. A trio of Ripley High seniors will be able to attend: Alex Blankenship, Christopher Kimble, and Will Mullins.Will Mullins expressed his reason for looking forward to the workshop.
“I am calmly excited. Because [I think] being a voice actor would be cool, and I’d love to hear from someone who’s done it.”
The students selected were seniors who expressed interest in going into theater beyond high school, under-class students would have had the opportunity, but unfortunately the workshop falls on the date of the online writing assessment. Theater teacher Christina Bright-Iman’s goal with the trip is simple;
“My purpose is probably the same as his: to help convey the message that if acting is something you want to do, you can do it, even if you’re from here.”
Dooley’s workshop will likely spend a fair amount of time with him discussing his career of 49 years (and counting), then delving into acting techniques, and likely some improvisation exercises. It’s currently projected to last a couple hours. As Dooley is a celebrated actor and this is a homecoming of sorts, he will also be the grand marshal of the Parkersburg Easter Parade March the next day from 2-4 PM. A set of Dooley’s films will also be shown for free in Parkersburg; “Breaking Away” will start 7 PM on Friday the 23rd at the Smoot Theater in north-end downtown Parkersburg, the 1980 film “Popeye” (in which Dooley portrayed Wimpy) will air the next day at 11 AM, and the final movie to play will be “A Wedding” at 7 PM on the same day.