Stealing the show

Broadway actress visits theater

photo credit: Mallory Hatch
Professionally speaking \\ Broadway performer Christy Altomare directs seniors Tyler Seymour and Eva Kewley as they perform Still and The Neva Flows for the production of Anastasia Sept. 29. “It meant a lot for her to be here because she achieved the dream that a lot of young actors and actresses strive for and just never achieve,” junior Crei Pierson said.

writer: Hannah Hansen, Copy Editor

Bright, hot lights shining down on them. A roaring crowd on their feet applauding them. Colorful, vibrant props and costumes all around them. A cast–more than friends, a family–surrounds them, grinning wide. 

These are sensations that every aspiring actor dreams of. And one such actor, Broadway performer Christy Altomare, who played the original Anastasia, visited the cast Sept. 29 to talk with these aspiring performers and help them with their upcoming performance of Anastasia

“She saw through director-designated scenes and brought some of the knowledge years of performing the musical had gotten her,” senior Luis Lopez said. “While we all felt comfortable with the scenes before her arrival, the few trinkets of knowledge she passed down completely transformed the performance.”

Altomare came as a part of a group called Masters of Broadway, which arranges master classes with Broadway actors.

“They reached out to us because our school goes on a list of places performing the show,” tech theater teacher Bekka Glaze said. “Our booster club and donations were able to pay for the class and her travel.”

Altomare watched parts of the upcoming performances that the actors were working hard on, critiquing and offering guidance where she could.

“A lot of the tips had to do with being specific with intentions and where we are putting our focus,” junior Crei Pierson said.

Afterwards, Altomare gave the cast and crew the opportunity to do a meet-and-greet with her.

“She signed autographs and took pictures with the whole cast which was phenomenal,” junior Meadow Rollins said. “This was when I got my original Broadway Anastasia cast CD signed by her.”

She also offered the aspiring actors some words of wisdom in pursuing life on the stage.

The few trinkets of knowledge she passed down completely transformed the performance.”

— Luis Lopez, senior

“She said if you just want to be a singer for fame and fortune, then that’s not what you really want to be,” Rollins said, “but if you are there and doing musicals because you love the people and singing, then go for it!”

She also surprised the group by announcing that this was the first high school performance she had been to of Anastasia, due to the new availability of the musical to schools.

“The weeks leading up to it made it seem like we were given some grandiose opportunity that hundreds of other schools had already had,” Lopez said. “Knowing that we were her first taste of a high school production and for us to have completely and utterly surpassed her expectations filled my heart with so much joy.”

Altomare also gave some insight into her own journey to reach the stage.

“It meant a lot for her to be here because she achieved the dream that a lot of young actors and actresses strive for and just never achieve,” Pierson said. “Also, it gave me some perspective about how hard I need to work to get where I want to be in life.”

Altomare also helped to make the actors relax and remember what’s most important when performing.

“There was one scene which I dreaded,” Lopez said, “but after her simply saying ‘be human, have fun with it,’ not only did the scene come out better than ever before, but also it was somehow easier and more exciting then it had ever been for me.”

Anastasia, directed by theater teacher Samantha Miller, will be performed Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.