Stories & Cast Interviews

Monday, January 15, 2018

Meet Erica Mansfield as Cassie in A Chorus Line

Posted by: Pia Haas on Monday, January 15, 2018 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

 I was born overseas in France but was raised in Texas and moved to New York after high school.

   I was always performing in my bedroom by myself.  I always loved to sing and dance.  My neighbor Maddy across the street taught me to tap dance in her kitchen when I was six.  We kept it a secret and then invited parents to the big show. From then on I was put in dance lessons.  She also introduced me to movie musicals like Sweet Charity and My Fair Lady.  I fell in love with musicals then.  I got my feet wet acting in school shows and in youth summer programs such as HITS theatre and Broadway Theatre Project.  In the 8th grade, I got pulled from JR High to be in the high school musical 42nd Street.  I really looked up to the older kids.  They were very supportive and even came to my JR high to support me as the understudy for Nancy in Oliver.  I always knew I was gonna be in show business.  

My dance teacher Miss Susie would take a small group of us to NY in the summer to dance.  I’ll never forget my first time in NY.  The second I saw the city and felt the energy I thought, this is where I belong.   This is where I’m gonna live.  It’s exactly what I did.  My extremely supportive parents and my dance teacher all encouraged me to go for my dream to dance on Broadway so at 18 after a summer at Galveston Summer Musicals and a children’s theatre tour I moved to a women’s residence (like Thoroughly Modern Millie) on the upper west side with 2 meals a day in the basement and a bathroom down the hall and I just started showing up.  Westchester Broadway was one of the first places I showed up for ;). And here I am all of these years later revisiting this show at a theatre where my dream started to come to fruition.

  

My introduction to A Chorus Line was the movie.  It is totally different from the Broadway material but at the time it was out I didn’t even know what Broadway was.  I just knew I loved the music and dancing.  I LOVED Cassie and never in my wildest dreams would I think I would end up playing that part on stage.

I got my start at Westchester!  It was one of my first auditions in NY!  When I first moved to NY I ran into a friend from summer stock in a Duane Reade who told me to come with her to audition for Funny Girl there and we both ended up in the show.  The director at the time Tom Polum said if “I knew how young you were I wouldn’t have hired you!” Haha.  I ended up assisting that director and I did 4 shows at Westchester.  I did Funny Girl, Oklahoma, Grease and Hello Dolly.

What I love about the theatre is that it really is a family.  They provide the tremendous opportunity for young actors.  They are very loyal to the people who have worked there.  I think it’s a great place to get your card AND you get to sleep at home!

Making Movie Musicals from stage Musicals...I think it’s fantastic!  It’s part of the reason I’m in this business for sure.  I think the more job opportunities the better for us!  Also, it’s a great opportunity to reach a whole new audience.

Favorite showsOklahoma, A Light in the Piazza, The Last Five Years, Hamilton, Rent, Crazy for You, Thoroughly Modern Millie. 

Dream roles... I’m playing one of them! Others? I have a bazillion!  Haha.  Millie will always be the role that got away. My dreams evolve with my age but there are many roles I’m dying to do!

I have a history with Anne Reinking and fosse work and I would LOVE to do Roxy or VelmaLola or Gloria in Damn Yankees, Franca in Light in the Piazza, Reno in Anything Goes, Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot, Charity- Sweet Charity, Heidi in Dear Evan HansenUla in The Producers, Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone, Nancy in Oliver, Queenie  in The Wild Party, Mother in  Ragtime, Lena or Kathy in Singin in the Rain,. Maureen in Rent, Ilona in She Loves Me, Polly and Irene in Crazy For You, Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, Lois in Kiss Me Kate, Georgia in Curtains,

I was in Mamma Mia for 5 years and covered Sophie. I would love to play Donna or Tanya and come full circle. I always wanted to do Peggy but now, eventually Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street

I have an amazing dog named Rylee.  She is a Pomsky and my off time is usually spent playing, walking and snuggling with her!  If I’m not doing that I try to enjoy time with my friends.  

I'm the worst at clearing out my phone.  So there is no room for much. Mostly music from shows I’ve done for my Broadway Masterclasses.