Stories & Cast Interviews

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Terry Palasz is a true YENTE (The Matchmaker)

Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Terry as Yente in our Production of FIDDLER

I’m a Milwaukee girl and from a large Polish-English Catholic family (2nd youngest of 6). Growing up, I loved swimming, ice skating, folk festivals and cheerleading (early unique success…my team won the city cheerleading championship in sixth grade.)

My earliest artistic influences were from watching old movie musicals, playing roles on local educational TV (“Library Playhouse”) and entertaining (?) my family with Victor Borge-like interpretations of my piano selections while speaking in a cockney accent (oy!). But really, it was in high school that I found a true love of music and performance in choirs, musicals and instruction in classical vocal music. Milwaukee has a rich and diverse culture and I was given opportunities to both participate in and observe performances from polka to opera.

I have many mentors and not surprisingly, one is from polka…96 year old Ada Dziewanowska who is a leading authority on Polish folk dance in America, and one from opera…Hans Wolf, my first opera conductor, who through his animated performances and coaching style, shared his passion and accessibility of classical music. 

I played “Hodel” in Fiddler in high school...the first time I’d heard of the show. I also played Yente some years ago in Utah on an enormous outdoor stage and we had real chickens, mules and cows in the production. But I feel extremely proud to finally portray this beautifully written character in an intimate setting.
Westchester Broadway Theatre is a superb stage to do Fiddler and audiences seems to breathe along with the cast. It’s a thrilling experience. I’ve also performed here in NINE (with Robert Cuccioli) and the recent Hairspray (Prudy Pingleton, Matron, Gym Teacher).

Tons of favorite shows…but I would be most excited to do Rags, Light in the Piazza, Souvenir and Master Class.

Offstage, I love hiking, world travel, storytelling, playing accordion, eclectic music, dinner parties and keeping up with my large, extended family.

On the IPod: Gypsy Kings, Eartha Kitt, Dvorak American String Quartet, Brave Combo, Led Zeppelin, Mirella Freni, Gracie Fields, Kurt Weill and Garrison Keillor.