Stories & Cast Interviews

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.

Meet Kilty Reidy as Bill Brewer in Christmas Inn

Posted by: pia on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)


I was born in Charlotte NC.  I was raised in North Carolina by Midwestern parents (Chicago).  So the rules that applied in my home didn’t always apply outside.  For instance, when responding to an adult in Southern culture, it is polite to reply with a Ma’am or a Sir.  When I would respond to my mother with a "yes, ma’am”, she would tell my not to take that “tone” with her. Ah, cultural differences.

My mother is a huge fan of theatre  I was raised listening to Leonard Stallman’s New Faces of 1952. What do you mean you don’t know it? Later on Annie and A Chorus Line were thrown into the mix. My mother also put together Vaudeville Shows for the Church Fall Festival.  And we always had a piano player at the house when my parents threw big parties.  Clearly, there was no hope for me.

 I took class with a Meisner teacher  who taught out of the old Carnegie Hall Studios. His name was Fred Kareman.  He made a lasting impression on me. 

 My father always joked when I started working professionally, “It’s about time that loud mouth made you some money!” He was right.

I've done several shows at WBT;  Carousel, West Side Story, Funny Girl (twice), And The World Goes Round, Happy Days.  Well, I love that I can work and live at home (that is the dream). Also, after many years and many shows, WBT feels like a family to me.  They gave me one of my first jobs as a new Equity member and have always been kind enough to let me return.  

 Some of my favorite shows? The Most Happy Fella, Once on This Island, The Scottsboro Boys, Light in the Piazza, Fiddler on the Roof, Drowsy Chaperone..just off the top of my head!

 My dream role?  Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, and I want another shot at Alfie Byrne in A Man of No Importance. 

I Celebrate The Holidays with my family. As a kid, it was a party at the Girdich’s house, followed by midnight mass. We open family gifts on Christmas Eve, that is our special time. 

What's on my Ipod? Tons of musical theatre.  I Love podcasts…This American Life, The Moth, Ronna and Beverly, and many more.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Meet the City Girl at heart, Gianna Yanelli as Annette in Saturday Night Fever

Posted by: Diana Villa on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm Comments (0)

I grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I like to call it the Little New York City because it has all that Manhattan offers, just less people. I grew up immersed in the city life and can happily say I'm a city girl at heart.! 

I grew up listening to Barbra Streisand and would dance around the living room putting on shows for my family. I knew I had the bug from the beginning. However, at a young age, I just wanted to be the next Britney Spears. Ha! When that dream faded, I fell in love with acting. 


In high school, I realized I wanted to do it as a profession when I met a man named Tony Braithwaite. His belief in my talent gave me the confidence to pursue this career. I first heard of SNF when I was performing at Theater Aspen. The artistic director was the original Stephanie on Broadway. When I got this role, I texted her immediately! It was a very cool feeling to have a connection with an original cast member. I got to pick her brain a bit. I heard of the movie way before the musical. It was one of the most innovative films of its time. It changed the cinematic game. Also, my dad would always play the Bee Gee's and he LOVES John Travolta. I mean, who doesn't?


I have so many favorite shows, but my ultimate is Funny Girl and Fanny Brice happens to be my dream role. Barbra Streisand is one of the reasons I decided to pursue theater. She taught my comedy and the importance of living a song, not just hitting the notes. When I'm not on stage I have two other jobs and am happy to say I love them both. I am a makeup artist and fitness trainer. Both are very fulfilling for me because they satisfy the creative part of my brain. Not only this, but I am changing people's lives while doing what I love.

If I'm not working, I love...SHOPPING. Right now I'm obsessed with home décor. I just moved into a new apartment and am daydreaming about my bedroom. I love drawing different floor plans and browsing for cute decorations. I have a variety of different tunes on my iPhone. It depends on what mood I am in that day. Lately, it has been a lot  of Walk the Moon and Nirvana. Right now as I type this, though, I am listening to Christmas Music! Love some good ol' Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. 


Friday, October 28, 2016

Meet Alexandra Matteo as Stephanie in Saturday Night Fever.

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)


I grew up in Overland Park, KS. My dad Captained oil tankers growing up so it was just me, my brother and my mom a lot of the time.  I was put in dance class because I could carpool and it got my energy and me out of the house for several hours a day. I immediately fell in love with it. I grew up always having Musicals' soundtracks play in the house and my parents were incredibly supportive of me going into the Arts. 

Like 3 days after I came home from the hospital, my parents had tickets for Les Miserables. My mom says we listened to the cast album on repeat for the first week of my life. When I started dancing it became clear this wasn't just a hobby for me. 

I transferred high schools to BVHS which was known for its theatre program. It was there that I met my mentor, Mr. Schmidt. He got me interested in acting and trusted me with some of the most challenging roles I've done. He gave me the confidence to pursue this as a career and not just a hobby. 

This is my first time at WBT and I am loving it. Everyone is so accommodating and it's clear we are all working towards the same end goal. 

I heard of the movie Saturday Night Fever  from my mother. When it first came out, she would sneak friends into the drive-in to see it. It was her favorite movie. I have had a few friends do different versions of the musical over the years, but this is my first time working on the project. 

I think movies made into stage musicals are an incredible opportunity to add a new layer to an already loved story. I think the key to making it successful is diving deeper into new layers of the characters. I had a teacher say that when words are no longer strong enough you must sing, and when that's not enough you must dance. That's why musicals like A Chorus Line are so successful - it keeps upping the stakes. Musicals from movies offer a great jumping off point as often the dialogue is strong and gives freedom to explore the inner workings of each character. 

It sounds corny, but my dream role is Belle in Beauty and the Beast. It was my first Broadway musical and the theater I made my Broadway debut in - So for sentimental reasons, that. However, I think my DREAM role has yet to be created because it will be something that's been written for me. 

I love to read and go to book club with my girls. Food is a HUGE part of my life. My boyfriend is a chef and we spend the vast majority of our days off eating our way through NYC. I also enjoy running and playing with my adorable mini Aussie puppy. 

I love jazz and listen to a lot of Gregory Porter. And Brian Lego (in the cast of SNF) sends me playlists because I'm not very hip in that department.