An encore for Beacon Falls actress

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After five years away from acting, Beacon Falls resident Amy Rebekah Derrick Ulsh made her return to the stage this month in the Warner Theater’s production of ‘Ragtime.’ -WARNER STAGE COMPANY/LUKE HAUGHWOUT
After five years away from acting, Beacon Falls resident Amy Rebekah Derrick Ulsh made her return to the stage this month in the Warner Theater’s production of ‘Ragtime.’ -WARNER STAGE COMPANY/LUKE HAUGHWOUT

BEACON FALLS — When Rebekah Derrick glided onto the stage at the Warner Theater in Torrington it marked the end of a five-year performance hiatus for the actress.

Her voice filled the theater mesmerizing the audience as she portrayed the character, “Mother,” for the theater’s production of “Ragtime” early this month.

“To feel the butterflies and the excitement bubbling up inside you makes you realize how much you love it so much. I never intended to be away from the stage for so long, but I was helping my husband, William Ulsh, start the Rock Church in Waterbury and it was a decision I don’t regret one bit,” she said.

The lead role in the production for the Beacon Falls actress Amy Rebekah Derrick Ulsh, who goes by Rebekah Derrick on stage, not only marked the end of a hiatus but also a new beginning for the well-accomplished actress. She has recently reached an agreement with a new agent in New York to plot the course of her next role.

Ulsh got the love of the stage from her father, William, a preacher who was an accomplished actor during his college days. Her mother, Gale, was the choir director at the church in Pennsylvania and got Ulsh and her brother, Joel, to perform on stage.

“I was terrified,” Ulsh admitted. “I was really a shy girl but by the time I got to high school that all changed. In the ninth-grade I saw a drama on stage and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was still unsure of myself and walked out of an audition. But I went back at night and shocked everyone there, including myself, by landing the lead role and never looked back.”

Ulsh would go on to perform in theaters all along the East Coast, including Sight and Sound in Pennsylvania. She decided to take her a shot and drove across the country to Los Angeles with enough money to last four months — she ended up staying 10 years.
It only took Ulsh two months to get an agent and two months later she had her first paying job. Within a year she had a role in her first movie.

Ulsh has worked side by side with Tony and Academy Award winning actors in such films as “Girl, Interrupted” and “Inspector Gadget.” She has made recurring appearances on television series and productions and her last two stage roles in “Henry IV” and “Temptation” garnished her awards for Best Actress from Theater.

Ulsh eventually left Los Angeles to help care for her ailing mother. She intended to be gone only six months, but it has been 10 years now. Over the past 10 years Ulsh has kept busy — she has modeled for QVC, got married and started the Rock Church with her husband.

“It’s kind of two different roads that came together — a pastor and an actress,” Ulsh said. “But they do meet and can run side by side and we both support one another’s passion.
“As we built the church I did get to keep the fire and the passion burning for theater by incorporating some events that included a Charles Dickens’ Christmas, An Independence Day Celebration on the Fourth of July and a recreation of the Sermon on the Mount.”

As for what lies ahead for the actress, Ulsh still has aspirations for her acting career and will continue to work along side her husband to build up Rock Church.

“Everything is in God’s timing,” she said. “I entrusted Him with my dreams and desires and it is so humbling, it’s like being given that gift all over again. Fear will rob you of your dreams and I never feared always knowing that God is in control.”