History Theatre / St. Paul

Freeman stars as Buddy Holly

M.A. theater director takes center stage in energetic musical

Nicholas Freeman is a full time actor and teacher. He teaches theater for many students, directs theater projects (including Into the Woods, a Sondheim musical to be performed next month at Minnehaha), and recently took the lead role as an actor himself in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, a musical staged during October at the History Theatre in St. Paul, for the fifth time.

Nicholas Freeman, Minnehaha’s theater director, performs as Buddy Holly in a scene set at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story continues through Oct. 30 at the History Theatre in St. Paul. (Photo by Rick Spaulding / History Theatre)

“I’m so glad to being playing the lead role Buddy and being able to share his story to the world,” said Freeman.

Buddy Holly was a big part of music history, being known as the only artist to release 17 hit songs in 15 months in the 1950s.

Family is very important to Freeman, but so is acting.

“My acting is, I know, hard on the whole family, because I’m gone from 8 a.m. to around 10 p.m., so I’m never really around, but I could never do this without them,” said Freeman.

He loves good storytelling and is glad he is able to show stories to the world through his acting. His acting has brought a lot of light into this world and especially to his family.

“Being married to an actor is amazing, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it can be very hard on our family,” said Christina Freeman, his wife, and the reading specialist at Minnehaha. “He is gone for long periods of time every day and is tired, but I love that he’s doing what he loves.”

Her being able to see him on the stage preforming and making his character come to life is, to her, one of the most interesting things to see.

“Seeing him on stage left me star-struck,” she said.

Their house is filled with Buddy Holly music and everyone is in love with the musical. He taught her how to seek deeper into stories, she said, and fall in love with the theater.

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