Stories & Cast Interviews

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Lani Corson as Sister Mary Robert in SISTER ACT!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)


I grew up in a small town in Maine. When I was 8 we moved to an even smaller town, to a farm, where I rode horses and picked blueberries. I remember having to drive 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store. In that same town, as the grocery store was what influenced me to become an Actor. There was this great community theatre that had a theatre camp every summer. My first summer we did The Wizard of Oz. I was, of course, a munchkin, among other things, and that was pretty much the beginning of the end. I did many other shows there throughout the years and the Artistic Director was a big supporter of mine and helped me prepare for my college auditions.

I was super excited when I first heard they were making Sister Act a musical! I've been wanting to do it for years - thanks WBT!! I've always loved the movie; I think some movies lend themselves to be made into a musical and this is no exception. This is actually a role I've been wanting to do for years!

One of my favorite shows is Les Miserables. It was the show that really solidified my love of musical theatre and I always wanted to play Eponine. I have understudied it once and I think I'm actually transitioning to where I would rather play Fantine. Another role I would love to do is the title role in Violet

When I'm not on stage in a theatre I am usually training, teaching or performing as an aerialist. I've been training in aerial and ground acrobatics for about 9 years and am one of the owners of the theatrical circus company, 2 Ring Circus (www.2ringcircus.com). 

I like listening to music, I'm on a Dresden Dolls kick right now!

 

As Sister Mary Robert w/Zuri Washington as Deloris.             Lani in 2 Ring Circus.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Meet Sarah Bowden as CASSIE in A CHORUS LINE

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, February 23, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

I grew up in Sydney, Australia. I have been dancing since I could walk. I have 2 brothers, also in the business, and it’s really the only thing I’ve ever known and lived. I started professionally at age 16, in the musical Cats

I once saw West Side Story when I was about 13, and I saw the girl playing Anybodys, scale a fence and jump around that Stage with so much energy... I turned to my mum and said, "I want to be just like that girl!! " I haven’t looked back since. My hero and Inspiration is really Liza Minnelli. She is everything I adore about theatre. 

I saw a production of A Chorus Line in Australia in the 90’s... I loved it. I have done the show in German first, performing it in Austria in 2015. And once at the Hollywood Bowl in summer 2016. 

The movie was my first experience of A Chorus Line, and I adored it... but learning the original musical from Baayork Lee herself, well nothing compares to that! I'm all for musicals being made into to movies, get it out there and accessible to more people, as theatre tickets can get expensive. But I do get disappointed, when they don’t cast musical actors... we sing, dance and act, and that’s what makes it special... when one or more of those are lacking, it’s a shame for the piece, for the film. There really is nothing like live theatre... one chance to experience it, one chance to get it right. It’s so in the moment, I love that. 

My dream role would be Velma Kelly in Chicago, I’m working on it.  I would also love to play Charity in Sweet Charity!

When not on stage, I love to run, it helps free my mind. I also love to spend time with family and friends, just simple things but time with them... we sacrifice so much of that, doing what we do and traveling all of the time for work. 

What music is on my iPod? Ha ha ha .... musical theatre. 

    

 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ashley Klinger as Kristine in A Chorus Line

Posted by: Pia Haas on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

 

I grew up in a small town called Cuyahoga Falls Ohio. I am a fourth-generation dancer so I studied under my grandmother and later my aunts. 

Since dancing was in my blood it only made sense to become a dancer. I fell in love with musical theater after many visits to New York City to see Broadway shows. Naturally, my mentors are mostly family members. 

I fell in love with A Chorus Line in high school in its most recent revival. I was fortunate enough to play the role of Kristine while completing college on the national tour.  I have seen the movie but the movie that hit home the most was the documentary Every Little Step. It shows the process of the Broadway revival auditions and it hits home every time. I appreciate film adaptations of musicals as it is a great way for the general public to see shows.

I love many shows for all sorts of reasons, but a big goal of mine is to originate a role on Broadway.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Meet David Elder as Zach in A Chorus Line

Posted by: Pia Haas on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

 I am from and grew up in Houston, TX. My father was a car body man and my mother a beautician. We lived check to check, they had 3 kids. I taught myself to tumble when I was 8 yrs old. My father also put a tennis racquet in my hand when I was 8. Until I was a Sophomore in High School, I believed that I was going to become a professional tennis player. My father was the best tennis player in TX his senior year of High School. We moved to the 'country' my sophomore year of HS and my new school did not have a tennis team. My dreams were dashed and I was taken down the hall to the Choir Room! I had previously sung every year in the choir since kindergarten and always enjoyed it and found singing came naturally to me! So, thus began the thought process of combining my self-taught tumbling with my singing talents. I basically vowed that I will try a career in the Arts until it doesn't work. I went to college for Voice Performance and haven't looked back since. My family was always supportive of my choices to follow this career path!!!

My first 'real' memory of performing was when my elementary class attended a morning performance of Oliver at Theater under the Stars (TUTS) downtown. I will never forget hearing the young man sing "Where is Love". I thought how could such a young inexperienced kid handle the pressure of being up there and sing that song SO beautifully!!! I truly believe my dream was born that day! The sensation that perhaps one day I could affect someone the way he had touched me. Self-observation was what I mainly used to detect what my natural talents and interests were. 

I first heard A Chorus Line when I was in High School, and we saw it on my school trip to NYC my senior year (1984). I have done the show one other time at Stages St Louis (6 years ago) and I played Zach that time as well. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to play it again and I am having a blast! 

It's my first time working at WBT, but I love the thrust stage. I think it offers many fresh and new options you don't have in most proscenium houses. I would love to see them add some pre-show fab entertainment. Not sure what but it could be- perhaps a grand piano rolled on stage and someone plays throughout dinner, which would also allow for an actor to come out and sing a song here and there with an accompanist. Perhaps a comedian could do 45 minutes. Maybe a light show or dinner dancing on the stage. Sorry, thinking out loud!!! I love it there and I want to see them succeed!

I have seen the movie. It wasn't my favorite. Though I can always find good in most things.What do you think of stage musicals being made into films? I actually don't mind creative people turning stage musicals into film, but it's so risky. Rarely do they succeed to the level of the actual live experience. I thought Chicago, the movie, succeeded quite well.

I adore playing Don Lockwood in Singing...Rain, Bobby Childs in Crazy For You, and Bert in Mary Poppins!!! I also just played Bob Wallace in White Christmas for the first time and it could possibly be my new favorite! I have played Phil Davis, Bob's sidekick 7 times!!!! Once a song and dance man, always a song and dance man! I would still like to play Billy Flynn in Chicago, however, I don't know if its a dream role. I am trying to focus on roles these days that don't rely so heavily on my dance abilities. 

I am an avid gardener. I have a home upstate in Roscoe, NY. 4 acres with a stream and a pond and lots of perennials!!!

I am currently collecting plans and arranging for a full renovation of my house. It is truly what I call my healing place!!! In Jackson Heights, Queens, where I live, our Coop is known to possess the most beautiful interior gardens as well as the front of building gardens. I currently serve on the Towers Garden Committee and simply love nurturing and making things look cared for and beautiful so that everyone can enjoy its splendor. 

I am very boring music wise. I need tunes that help lighten the stresses of living in the city. Mostly, standards like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble', Harry Connick Jr., Easy listening Jazz. Music that I can still talk over but love hearing in the background. Happy Hour stuff!!! Upstate I listen to country mostly.