Stories & Cast Interviews
Meet Devon Perry, The Pistol Packin' Mama!
Growing up in Central Ohio, I was putting on performances in the living room as soon as I could walk and talk. I usually incorporated the services of my dolls and my little brother (thanks, man!), and was always clad in a pink tutu. I watched almost every movie musical and could perform them all from memory. From the age of 6, I began training in ballet and planned to become a professional ballerina, training intensely for over 10 years, until an injury prevented me from going any further. It was about that time that I turned to theatre, attending Interlochen Arts Camp in the summers. I then received a B.F.A. in musical theatre from the University of Michigan, and, well... here I am!
I watched the movie version of Annie Get Your Gun, with Betty Hutton, habitually as a child. Betty Hutton has always been an inspiration of mine - a woman that was fearless in every performance she gave and really changed the image of what it meant to be a woman in her time. I'm also a huge Judy Garland fan, and she was originally supposed to do the film version but was unable to complete it. There are still some clips available of her performing some of the songs. Even though I've never done this show before, I've known most of these songs for many years and they feel like home to me.
This is my fourth show at WBT, and I love it here! It's such a beautiful community to be a part of. Not only are the audiences engaged and supportive, but also the people behind the scenes are just extraordinary, from the box office to the stage crew and everywhere in between. Though it may sound cliche, WBT really has a family atmosphere, which, when felt so strongly backstage and onstage, I know must translate to the audience and make them feel included as well.
Some of my favorite shows include South Pacific, The Wizard of Oz, Sunday in the Park with George, and Annie Get Your Gun! Playing this role has always been a dream of mine. It still feels rather surreal, every time I hit the stage. Another dream role of mine is Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, which I've had the pleasure of playing multiple times, including at WBT!
When I'm not onstage, I also work as a professional musician, which is such a blast! I teach lessons and classes to children, as well as professionals. I also perform around town as a singer and pianist. I enjoy yoga and nature and kissing dogs.
What's on my Spotify these days... I've been listening to a lot of Vulfpeck, an incredible funk band of friends of mine from UofM. I also will always enjoy Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson, Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Hall & Oates.
Aubrey Sinn on Easy Street.
"I grew up in a few places around the Midwest/East Coast. I was homeschooled from 4th grade until I went to college. My mom told me senior year of high school I couldn't audition for another show until I finished my college applications!"
Singing has been a part of her life since she was a child; her parents met singing in the Choral Arts Society of Washington, D.C. That meant Aubrey was singing along with her family’s beloved Christmas albums at home, and in church and school, long before she showed interest in acting.
"My parents met while singing, so part of it might be genetic. Then when I was a kid I saw a production of How to Eat Like a Child and I remember wanting desperately to be onstage, doing what they were doing."
She studied acting at Grand Rapids Community College, and credits instructors Tom Kaechele and Mark Amenta for honing her skills. thirteen years ago, she moved to New York City to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating as a drama major.
In 2012, Aubrey had a role in “Legally Blonde” here at WBT (center). Then in 2013, she appeared as Maria in our production of “The Sound of Music.” (with Matthew Shepard as Captain von Trapp)
“I love Rodgers and Hammerstein. I grew up listening to ‘Oklahoma,’ ‘The Sound of Music,’ all that old-school musical theater. ‘The Music Man,’ ‘My Fair Lady’ – that’s my jam. My mom always liked that stuff. It has a special place in my heart.”
This is my 4th show at WBT but even the second time it already felt like coming home. I love the staff here. I also love the wide variety of work I've gotten to do here: I've done contemporary musicals, very traditional musicals, I've understudied multiple roles in one show, and I've gotten to play the hero & the villain. This is what I love about being a performer!
As Lily St. Regis (left) performs "Easy Street" with Adam Roberts and Susann Fletcher.
"Annie was the first musical I ever auditioned for when I was 8 years old! I had never taken a dance class so I remember being very confused every time they said "ball-change" during the dance call. I was so sad when I didn't get cast - if only my young self could see me now!
I did watch the movie growing up! I think movie musicals can be a great way to introduce folks t the theater who don't have access to it or haven't been aware of it otherwise. To me, an important element of movie musicals is taking advantage of the medium - being faithful to the story, music, and spirit, but in a way that could only be done cinematically. What elevates the movie above being essentially a recording of a stage performance?
My dream role is to play Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd!
My husband & I live in Brooklyn with our two dogs - I love spending time with them around the neighborhood & Prospect Park or taking trips upstate to go rambling."
Celeste Hudson as Grace Farrell in Annie
I was born in NYC at Lennox Hill Hospital (where Beyoncés baby was born!) and mostly grew up in the Capital Region, upstate New York. I was lucky to always be involved with theatre and dance, and come into the city often to see shows.
My family was very supportive of the arts and my dad raised me and my sister on great music and movies- we watched all the old movie musical classics like On the Town and Singing in the Rain. I loved Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse for as long as I can remember. I grew up doing ballet and seeing theatre and fell in love with performing. Living the Capital Region there were wonderful community theatres and I performed in school shows. My mom (who used to work for Radio City Musical Hall) was an absolute rockstar in supporting all I wanted to do. My high school director Mr. Maguire (who was also an exceptional math teacher!) really inspired me in my love of being on stage telling stories. I had a magical voice teacher named Michael who made singing my favorite thing to do. My ballet teacher instilled discipline and a love to strive for grace and beauty. But when I brought a bunch of children I was teaching in a summer program to one of my high school shows, I knew I wanted to be a performer. The kids were so mesmerized, even by a little show in my school gym with folding chairs. They really believed in the magic and I knew that theatre was important to provide an entertaining escape, to teach and inspire and to suspend reality for a few hours.
I remember watching the movies as a kid, (Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters and Carol Burnett especially made me giggle) but I've never been in the stage production before now! I have performed previously with WBT in Showboat. I had such a lovely experience with both cast and crew, and I knew I couldn't wait to work here again. The people here are so wonderful and it's a treat to be able to work at a professional theatre so close to NYC (and my bed!)
I definitely think musicals being made into movies can be really successful, and can bring musical theatre to so many more people. I've really enjoyed a few adaptations, even if I notice and miss some changes from the stage show. Sweeney Todd and Phantom of the Opera are some faves where I've liked the movie adaptation, mostly because they are so visually exciting.
Dream roles? Oh, so many! Roles I've done that I'd love to reprise again and again: Queenie in The Wild Party and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha. I would love to play Florence in Chess, Sibella in A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder, Mother in Ragtime, Veronica in Heathers, Velma in Chicago, Dot in Sunday in the Park with George, Amneris in Aida, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, The Bakers Wife and Cinderella in Into the Woods. For a show currently running, a dream role is Natasha in Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, and what a dream it would be to originate Meg in Hercules when it comes to Broadway!
I love teaching! I work at an amazing dance studio in TriBeCa called Dance with Miss Rachel, and it's incredible to watch these adorable baby ballerinas grow in confidence and creativity. We even teach a few songs from Annie in our "Future Broadway Stars" class. When I'm not working, I love to travel and explore, both in the city and out. I also adore eating delicious food! Whether brunching with my girlfriends or going out to my favorite Thai and Mexican restaurants or cooking and cuddling up with my boyfriend Mat- I definitely have a weak spot for yummy cuisine! Other guilty pleasures are listening to jazz music in the shower, searching online for dream apartments I can't yet afford, and watching John Oliver and UFC with Mat!
I love all kinds of music, especially unique female voices and writing like Kimbra, Marian Hill, and my all time favorite Kate Bush. Right now I've been humming a lot of Glass Animals and the theme song from Chewing Gum (so catchy!)
Celeste as a baby ballerina (age 4!) Teaching a Broadway class at DWMR
As Julie LaVerne in Showboat As Queenie in The Wild Party at NYU!
Denise Simon, Author of “Parenting In The Spotlight” at WBT
On Friday, August 4 before the show and during intermission, Denise will be signing books in the lobby and answering any questions you may have about your budding star.
When your child wants to become an actor, you may be thrilled and a little scared. The entertainment industry can be confusing and overwhelming. How do you know when to hire an agent and a manager or what kind of clothing should be worn to auditions? What about taxes, school, and helping your child cope with rejection? What's the best way to ensure that your child actor has a successful experience and doesn't end up in the tabloids?
Denise Simon has spent 30 years as an Acting Coach, Personal Talent Manager, and Director, specializing in child actors. She's worked with some of the best and brightest young actors in television, film, commercials and on Broadway. In her new book, Parenting in the Spotlight: How to raise a child star without screwing them up, Denise shares not only the practical how-to information all parents need but more than 75 valuable life lessons for your child. You will
glean priceless tips on how to help your child thrive in the acting industry and reap life lessons that will ensure a successful adulthood.