Meet Mary Rudquist who is performing in Annie

Lyric Arts had a chance to interview Mary Rudquist, who is performing as A Star-to-Be  in Annie. Read on to hear what she has to say about her experience thus far.

LA: Tell us a little bit about why this particular play interested you?

MR: This was the first stage show I ever saw as a kid and really solidified my love for theatre. I still get a little choked up when I hear “Tomorrow”.

LA:For those that are unfamiliar with Annie can you tell us about the show?

MR: It’s the ultimate story about how one’s attitude about life is the greatest indication on what your life will bring you. Annie is a young orphan who perhaps “shouldn’t” be eternally optimistic but keeps her spirits up in life despite the challenges she faces.

LA: Talk about the character v(s) that you play in Annie. How have you developed this character?

MR: I am in the chorus which makes me really fortunate because I get to play a number of different characters. I play a homeless person who is living in Hooverville, a star-to-be arriving to New York, fresh and full of dreams and a proper, confident servant. These characters do not get a lot of spoken lines so much of my development has to come from my body language and facial expression.

LA: Why should people come and see Annie?

MR: It’s an American classic and unapologetically positive. There is enough cynicism is our daily lives, it’s nice to be part of something that celebrates goodness.

LA: Talk about your fellow cast members, how do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?

MR: I am continually amazed with every single person who steps on stage because everyone is making a commitment to their characters. I am really impressed with the younger cast members, especially Regan. She is so poised and infinitely talented for her age!

LA: What do you feel are the "wow" elements of Annie?

MR: The care taken by Rebecca (director) and the entire cast in crew to making the show authentic and real.

LA: What is your favorite aspect of the show?

MR: I love the music, I truly do. There is nothing in the songs that have to “grow” on you or give you a “that’s different” kind of feeling. The music serves its purpose; to tell the story and appear as organic dialogue to the characters.

LA: Tell us what is something that you are particular excited about this show coming to together? For example, a certain scene, costumes, set, lights, etc?

MR: I can’t wait to see the big numbers come together. It will be magic.

LA:What is your favorite musical to watch? 

MR: I cannot ever get sick of West Side Story-It’s my favorite

LA:What is your favorite thing to do around the holidays?

MR: Gathering with my wonderful family and friends.

LA: Which do you like better Annie the movie or the stage version?

MR: I like them both for different reasons. I love the movie because I grew up on it and there is SOMETHING amazing about Carol Burnett’s performance. I love the stage version too because the movie cut a couple of really fun songs.

LA: Where and how will you have the energy to do 24 shows?

MR: I naturally have a lot of energy but I will keep up with my healthy habits in order to sustain it

LA: To date what is your favorite role that you have played and why?

MR: I really enjoyed the role I played in the Fringe Show I did this past summer called Salem. It was a challenging role because I am not used to playing a dramatic character, but I really loved having my own “custom-composed” ballad to sing.

LA: What is your dream character to play on stage?

MR: It has been my dream to play Maria in West Side Story although I am getting old for that. I would also like to play Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd or Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera. I would also take any role in Les Miserables.

LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

MR: I am an elementary music teacher in Spring Lake Park and a classically trained opera singer. I am an adrenaline junkie with common sense so I only watch scary movies and go on roller coasters rather than bungee jumping. I have a cat named Tosca and was The Phantom of the Opera for Halloween in 3rd grade. I am often seen embarrassing my family/friends in public with my childish antics.