Stories & Cast Interviews

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Meet Jersey Girl, Karyn Quackenbush in The Bikinis!

Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

  

I grew up in West Milford, New Jersey. Back then it was considered a very rural town, but my parents always took me into see Broadway shows and also took me to Radio City Music Hall.

When I was just a toddler, my parents took me to see Mary Poppins, the movie. I freaked out. I wanted to sing like Julie Andrews. Every time I was in school, kindergarten, first 
grade, second grade, I would always get in trouble because I was constantly singing in class. Then one day my parents took me to see Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway, and that was it! I knew what I wanted to do for a living! 

As for the show The Bikinis, I think it's safe to say that Ray Roderick, my husband, wrote the show very loosely based on my summers at the Jersey shore. He loved the fact that every summer I went to the shore and had a different group of friends than I had when I was in school. When you were at the the shore, you could reinvent yourself. The friends you had at the shore didn't know that you were unpopular in school, or you were called a band nerd!!  My friends at the shore thought I was cool cause I could sing!  

I've been doing the BIKINIS since the year 2010! I believe this is my seventh production.

Some of my favorite shows are the shows from a while ago. Funny Girl, Annie Get Your Gun,  Little Shop of Horrors, Jesus Christ Superstar. 

As far as the dream role, I have a feeling this will never happen, but I always wanted to play Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors

When I'm not doing a show, I am a personal assistant for a famous actress. I also am a certified dog groomer and a dog walker! I love all my other jobs!

The songs I love to listen to on my iPod etc. are from artists like Linda Ronstadt, John Denver, Peter Paul and Mary, and I love love love Janice Joplin!

   

Friday, February 17, 2017

Meet Anne Fraser Thomas in THE BIKINIS

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

We met with Anne between shows... Here's what this amazing actor had to say!

I grew up in Southern California and moved out to NY about 8 years ago. I played piano since I was 5 so music has always been a passion of mine ;). My upbringing was pretty strict, mostly studying and practicing piano 2 hours a day.

I came into performing on stage late in high school, but had always loved music. My parents weren't too fond that I became a performer, but I loved becoming a different person on stage each time. 

I was asked my the arranger of the show, Joe Baker, to do this project! Joe and I had worked together on a number of projects. This is my first time doing the show. I had sung all the disco songs before through bands I had worked with, and knew some of the other songs before! What a great selection of music! 

I like any show that is funny and has heart.. Avenue Q is one of my favorite shows because of that! I would say I've played a majority of my dream roles. Aldonza in Man of La Mancha is my favorite part to play and I would love to play that role forever! I would love to play Lady of the Lake in Spamalot 

When I’m not on stage, I love watching shows on Netflix, working out at the gym, catching up with friends, and traveling!

I love listening to music by Lizz Wright! Also, I have a weird mix of Jazz, pop, Broadway, and random karaoke tracks that I listen to! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Meet Katy Blake in THE BIKINIS

Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

We caught up with Katy between shows.. Here's what this multi-talented actor had to say!

 

I Grew up in Danville, VA. I have two sisters and we all sang in the church choir in Danville. We were in the band and I sang in a band in High School. I can't remember the name of the band but we covered George Michael and Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. I don't think we ever wrote our own song, tho:)

I was always dramatic as a child. In school plays and community theatre. I grew up with sisters and cousins and neighborhood kids and I would write plays, direct them, and star in them. I used to get upset when kids didn't show up to rehearsals.

I auditioned for the show when it was done at Riverside Theatre in Florida a few years ago. I wasn't cast originally, however, I got a call from Jim Hindman about a problem they were having with casting that production after rehearsals had started and he asked if I was available. I kind of was (had to shift some things around) but it was Florida in November and December so who was I to say No? I learned the role of Barbara in three days and had a ball! I assisted Jim in directing the show in Rochester, and I directed it in Westport, NY at the Depot Theatre a couple of summers ago!

I'm on the Hamilton bandwagon and think it's a fantastic show! I have gotten to play most of my dream roles - Eva in Evita, Christine in Phantom. My favorite role I have ever played (and I played it three times) was Percy in The Spitfire Grill.

When not on stage, I write!  I'm writing an original musical (Storming Heaven: the Musical) and we just had our first reading at Playwrights Horizons in January. I love to knit - especially backstage as I can still pay attention to what's going on and can make cute clothes for all my friends who are having babies!
I am happily married to a wonderful man, Barry Wilson, and I love to cook and he loves to eat so it's a match made in heaven! I love gardening and am very lucky that in our place in Harlem, we have a large patio and I have grown everything from tomatoes and eggplants to figs and flowers! 

Music I listen to?  Right now it's the music to the show I'm writing. Oh, and Lady Gaga. I Love her!

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Meet Sarah Cline as Linda Baker in Christmas Inn

Posted by: pia on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 5:00:00 pm Comments (0)

             

I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, KS, as part of a loving family which included my dad and mom, my older sister, Laura and younger brother, David. Kansas holds a very special place in my heart, and I am proud of my Midwestern roots. I lived there from the ages of 4 to 18, when I moved out to study Musical Theatre in college. My parents have always been so supportive of my love for singing and theatre, and I am grateful to have grown up in a household that encouraged us kids to follow our dreams, to work hard and to be kind.    
My Headshot at age 9.

I started doing Musical Theatre when I was six years old, and I've been doing it ever since. My parents did a great job of exposing the kids to a lot of different types of music, including musicals, which encouraged my love of singing. I knew every word to the 10th Anniversary album of Les Miserables before I knew my states and capitols. After I did my first show as part of a summer program for kids, I auditioned for every show I could around the KC area. I ended up missing a lot of fourth grade because I was "working" around town. (Again, VERY supportive parents!) Of course, then, I didn't think of it as working at all! Eventually though, by the time I hit high school, I knew that I wanted theatre to be more than just a hobby; I dreamed of it being my career. My high school theatre teacher, Dan Schmidt, fostered my passion and helped me to fall in love with acting. Suddenly, I wasn't just a singer, I was a storyteller, and that was the most exciting gift anyone could give me.

This is my first show at WBT and I couldn't be happier. Everyone is so incredibly kind and professional; I feel very lucky to be working here.

 My favorite musical of all time is Les Miserables. To me, it is perfect. I also love Sweeney Todd (or really, anything written by Stephen Sondheim). My dream roles include "Fantine" in Les Miserables, "Elphaba" in Wicked and "Cathy" in The Last Five Years

  I am so excited to go home to KS to spend Christmas with my family for the first time since 2012! I've been working on cruise ships for the last couple of years, so I can't wait to reacquaint myself with our family traditions. My favorites include our annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Competition and the Christmas Eve dinner that my stepmom cooks up, complete with crab legs!  
With Nick Varricchio in Christmas Inn.

When not on stage,  I love to bake (I make a mean chocolate chip cookie!) but if I couldn't be an actor, I would be a make-up artist or some kind of beauty consultant, so I enjoy playing with cosmetic products a lot. You're likely to find me in the aisles of Sephora with eyeshadow swatches all over my arms. Also, when I'm not onstage, I make sure to enjoy the incredible friends I have in my life. Sometimes, there is nothing better than sitting around with my roommates, having a glass of red wine and watching Shark Tank.

I don't often listen to musicals for recreation; typically I'll listen to shows only if I'm studying for a role. So, my favorites are Singer/Songwriters from all decades. Jim Croce, John Mayer, Sara Bareilles and Ed Sheeran are my all-time favorites! 

   

At 10, with Dad in a community theatre production of The Music Man.