Stories & Cast Interviews

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Meet Stacia Fernandez

Posted by: Matthew Orlander on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 11:15:00 am Comments (0)

We Welcome Stacia Fernandez to the Cast of Mamma Mia as Tanya!

 

 Stacia

I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia where I was the youngest of 4 girls. Being the youngest, I was always the loudest as I was trying to get people to hear me. I guess that's why I am an actor now!

I spent 5 years doing Mamma Mia on Broadway in the ensemble and playing both roles of Rosie and Tanya. So, you would think this was an easy transition for me. Joyful yes! Easy no! All new blocking and choreography make it necessary to erase some pretty old hard drives. That makes it quite a challenge, but a fun one!

I've worked up here at the WBT many times before, but it's been several years and I'm thrilled to be back. It's like coming home. 

As far as musical movies go, I surely do appreciate the idea. I think it promotes a love of the art form to a lot of people who never appreciated a good musical before. I look forward to seeing the prequel of Mamma Mia!  

I loved playing Grizabella in CATS up here, and playing Mrs. Anna in The King and I. I would play Mrs. Anna again in a minute. I would also love to revisit Diana in Next to Normal, one of my all-time favorite shows that I've done. Also, I can't wait to play Mrs. Lovett, the Witch in Into the Woods, and Mama Rose in Gypsy somewhere soon. In addition, I just did Night of the Iguana with James Earl Jones. Let me tell you, that was a dream come true!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Meet Kilty Reidy

Posted by: Elizabeth Jankovic on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 12:15:00 pm Comments (0)

Kilty Reidy plays Harry Bright in Mamma Mia!

 Harry and Donna (Michelle Dawson) in "Our Last Summer"

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 me 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.  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.  

I first heard of Mamma Mia! the musical in about 2000 when the show was being mounted in New York.  This is my first time doing Mamma Mia!.  I have never seen the movie, though I do love Meryl Streep.  When stage musicals are made into films, as long as they are done well, I have no issues.  I believe they help cultivate a new audience for musical theatre.

Some of my favorite shows include 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 is Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and I want another shot at Alfie Byrne in A Man of No Importance.

I listen to tons of musical theatre.  I love podcasts…“This American Life”, “The Moth”, “Ronna and Beverly”, and many more.

Meet Michelle Dawson

Posted by: Matthew Orlander on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 11:00:00 am Comments (0)

   Michelle Dawson plays Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!

    

                             Michelle                   w/Jennifer Swiderski as Rosie & Elise Kinnon as Tanya

I grew up in a little town called Charlotte in Vermont (farm country). I showed horses around the east coast until I went to college. I have wonderful memories of that time in my life.  

I started doing plays and musicals in middle school and also with community theatre. I was hooked immediately into the world of musical theatre. I later went on to receive a BFA from Carnegie Mellon and would eventually make my way to NYC. 

I've had the fortune of being part of Mamma Mia in a number of instances, first starting in 2008. I toured on the Broadway National Tour as Tanya for a year, then continued on the road for another year and a half as Donna. In 2009, I represented the national tour performing Dancing Queen on the Tony Awards. I joined the Broadway Company in 2011, where I understudied the role of Donna and Rosie. Last summer, I was Donna at the Engeman Theater’s production of Mamma Mia, and here I am in 2017, lucky enough to be doing it again at the WBT!

I love working at the WBT and I believe this marks my 17th show. I started working here back in 1995 as Julie Jordon in Carousel. I am forever grateful for how much the WBT family has given me over the years.

My dream role is Donna in Mamma Mia as it has always been the “IT role” for me. Looking down the road, I think it would be fun to create a new role in a new musical.

When I'm not on stage, my 12-year-old son, my husband, house, and 2 dogs keep me busy! I've also started teaching voice privately and I absolutely love it!

Also, I like to listen to all types of music from musicals to today's top hits! 

Meet Nathan Cockroft

Posted by: Elizabeth Jankovic on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 10:45:00 am Comments (0)

Nathan Cockroft plays Sky (Sophie's boyfriend) in Mamma Mia!  

Sky and Sophie (Mariah MacFarlane)

Hey, I grew up in Greeley, CO in the foothills of the Rockies. My family owns a dairy farm, so I spent my time evenly between the farm and town as a child. I have a twin sister; growing up we were very musical, and we often passed our time singing and dancing. Naturally, growing up in Colorado, I spent a lot of time hiking and camping in the mountains and fostering a love of the outdoors. Nothing makes me happier than the aspens changing color in the fall!

As far as my career, I became an actor kind of by chance. I had a lot of varying interests growing up, and I stumbled upon theater in middle school, and started actively pursuing it in high school. I actually didn't start voice or dance training until I started college at Oklahoma City University. From there, I've kept fairly busy working regionally and on board Disney Cruise Lines in their stage productions! 

I first heard of Mamma Mia! during college, and was aware of the Broadway and touring productions when I moved to the city; however, I had never seen a production until I started here at WBT.

I have seen the movie, and I enjoyed its fun energy. I know that this show has inspired a sort of cult following with the popular ABBA score, and I'm excited whenever any show gets a film expansion to the franchise. I think it's so exciting when this art form can reach the masses in every way possible.

Some of my favorite shows are by Stephen Sondheim; I am a huge fan of his prolific shows, and would have to say that many hold dream roles of mine. It's never easy to hone in on just one dream role in the large spectrum of theater. My real dream is to help create a role from its inception and originate that role. There's a real freedom and sense of ownership in breathing life into an idea and giving it a physical form!

When I'm offstage, I'm a complete outdoors person; I love running, hiking, biking, being outside. My personal favorite is sitting under a tree with an iced coffee and a great book I can get lost in!

Some music I have currently been listening to is a blend of Marc Broussard, Ed Sheeran, and Christopher!