Q: Tell me about yourself and your connection to the Batavia Music Department.
A: “I have been dancing since I was three years old and have been a part of the Batavia Music Department since middle school. I joined Show Choir as a sixth grader and have been a part of it ever since. I’ve also been in Choir since eighth grade. My very first theater production was 42nd Street- the 2022 musical.”
Q: What made you want to participate in Mean Girls?
A: “I had such a good experience in 42nd Street that I knew I wanted to do the 2023 fall musical. Mean Girls is such a well-known movie that most people have seen and loved. What I thought was interesting about the musical adaptation was that most of the story is told through songs. The characters are further developed and the overall story is told in a different light…I think that’s what intrigued me the most.”
Q: What made you want to take on the role of Gretchen?
A: “Since I first saw the movie, Gretchen has always been my favorite character. I always thought that she wasn’t actually a mean girl, she just hung out with one. I also thought she had the cutest outfits! Having her as my favorite growing up was one of the main reasons I wanted to play her. In the movie, Gretchen is portrayed as this insecure girl who worships Regina. After listening to the Broadway soundtrack, I realized that her anxious and jittery personality was taken to a whole new level. I thought that she would be a really fun character to play and I wanted to be the one to deliver that new version of a well-known character to the audience.”
Q: In what ways could you relate to your character?
A: “Gretchen is the type of character in the show that has the potential to have a massive impact on the audience. Gretchen looks for validation in other people. I know that I occasionally find myself doing this. Not only do I myself do this, but almost every human finds themselves relying on others for validation, whether they like to admit it or not.”
Q: If you hadn’t played Gretchen, which character would you have wanted to portray and why?
A: “If I could be any other character, I would probably pick Regina…. I would die to be able to sing ‘World Burn.’ Her personality would be something different than anything I have ever done before.”
Q: Was there any song that you were especially excited to perform/see performed?
A: “I was so excited to be able to see ‘I’d Rather Be Me’ be performed. This number is just so carefree, and it is a huge breaking point for many of the characters on stage. It was so much fun to hear the audience’s reaction to the song. I love the way that Erin McLaughlin portrayed Janis during the number. She’s what allowed the number to come together the way that it did. I was also so excited to perform in the number ‘Sexy.’ The choreography was so fitting for the song and it was a lot of fun to perform- from the costumes to the facial expressions. Overall, this number was full of energy, and I loved hearing the audience explode after each performance [of this number], as well as seeing ‘I’d Rather Be Me.’”
Q: The production level of this musical was evidently high. What did a typical day look like for you as you were preparing for the show?
A: “I would drink a ton of water on show days to keep my voice hydrated. Me and some of my friends in the cast would meet at a different restaurant before every show for dinner and then head over to the BFAC. Once I got to the BFAC, I would go get my mic on and Mrs. Moss would start doing my Gretchen hair immediately. My natural hair is relatively straight, so it took a lot of effort to get my hair to be as big as it was. My hair took anywhere from one and a half to two hours every day. While I was getting my hair done, I would do my makeup and pause for my mic check. One of my favorite parts of show days was getting ready with the cast in the makeup room. Then, the entire cast met in the Black Box for warm-ups and Cattero would give us a hype-up speech. After that, I got into costume, set props backstage and hung out with the other Plastics until our first number!”
Q: What do you want audiences to take away from the show?
A: “I hope the audience was able to see the way that the students at North Shore treat each other and for them to…do the exact opposite. I wish for them to want to spread love and kindness in their community and remember to stay true to themselves and not change because of others’ opinions.”
Q: Finally, do you think this musical is pretty fetch?
A: “Yes, of course!”