Young actor displays multiple talents in upcoming plays


CORVALLIS - In the theater there is an adage that every actor should be a triple threat - able to sing, to act and to dance.

Cooper Bombadil is a quadruple threat.

Not only does the 14-year-old sing, act and dance, he also plays the violin. For the talented young artist, it's going to be a very busy spring.

Since February, Bombadil has been in two different sets of rehearsal. In one capacity, he is working at Oregon State University with the University Theatre's American premiere of "Lay Up Your Ends." He also is tackling the role of the artful dodger in "Oliver!" for the Corvallis Community Theatre.

Bombadil has been doing this artistic juggling act while at the same time maintaining honor roll status at Cheldelin Middle School in Corvallis.

Though only 14, Bombadil is no stranger to OSU's University Theatre stage. He made his debut in 1995 in "H.M.S. Pinafore" and returned to campus this summer as the youngest lord in the House of Lords in "Iolanthe." Before Iolanthe director Luke Kahlich left Corvallis to return to his teaching duties at Kansas State University, he jokingly told the cast, "If any of the men need help with their choreography, ask Cooper. He knows all the steps."

In "Lay Up Your Ends" Bombadil is a roving musician. He will be featured playing several tunes on the violin, an instrument he has studied since the age of five. "Lay Up Your Ends" opens at OSU's Withycombe Hall theater on April 3 and continues April 4-5 and April 10-12. Ticket information is available by calling 541-737-2784.

Bombadil will catch his breath for a couple of weeks before he sings, acts, and dances in "Oliver!", opening May 2 and playing May 3-4, May 8-11 and May 15-18 at the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis. "Oliver!" is directed by Mary Jean Reynales.

Cooper is the son of Tom Bombadil, veteran of several Gilbert and Sullivan productions at OSU, and Kathryn Knudson. His sister, Meegan, also sang, acted and danced in the Gilbert and Sullivan festival. A senior at Crescent Valley High School, she recently finished sixth in the state in downhill skiing.