This begins a series of interviews with the very talented group of five young actors in the cast of Arena Stage’s production of The Music Man. Today – meet Mia Alessandra Goodman.
Joel: Why did you want to appear in The Music Man, and who do you play?
Mia: I wanted to appear in The Music Man because ever since I watched the movie at a friend’s house, I have been in love with the music and dancing from the show. In Arena Stage’s production of The Music Man, I play a River City Kid who lives in the town of River City, Iowa.
What did you sing at your audition? When did you find out you were being offered the role of one of the River City Kids?
For my song at the audition, I decided to sing “Popular” from the musical Wicked. I found out I had made it in to the show about a week after the auditions. I was doing homework at the dining room table when the phone rang. It was the casting director from Arena Stage, who was calling to tell me I had been offered the job as a River City Kid! As soon as I hung up the phone, I started jumping and screaming at the top of my lungs, and I quickly called my best friend to tell her the news.
How many River City Kids are there in the show? Are you all becoming close friends?
There are two River City Kids in the show, but there are five kids in total. Not including me, there are two other girls; one plays Gracie Shinn, and the other plays Amaryllis. There are also two boys in the show; one plays Winthrop, and the other plays a River City Kid. We are all becoming close friends. We love to play cards together backstage.
You sing in the Washington Girls Chorus. Tell us about this.
Last year, I started singing in the Washington Girls Chorus and I enjoyed the experience a lot. We learned new singing techniques and performed as a group. Unfortunately, I had to stop singing in the chorus this year because rehearsals and performances for The Music Man conflicted with practices.
You have appeared in several community theatre productions. What roles have you played and which role is your favorite why?
I have done some wonderful community theater productions! I was Molly in Annie; Zuzu in It’s a Wonderful Life; and Pandora in Pandora’s Box. Before The Music Man, my favorite role I played was Molly in Annie, because I loved dancing and singing the big musical numbers in the show, like “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.”
Why has it been important for you to perform in community theatres in the area, and why should young actors also consider doing that?
It’s really important to me that I have participated and performed in community theatre productions because I think that you learn something new in every show you do, regardless of what type of show it is.
You are understudying two roles. Which roles are they? As an understudy, how often do you attend rehearsals? Do you attend all of the performances?
In The Music Man, I perform in every show as a River City Kid, and am also an understudy for the roles of Amaryllis and Grace Shinn. Sometimes though, I also have understudy rehearsal, where I practice the blocking and the lines for the roles I understudy, in case I have to go on for them.
What has been the most fun working with Director Molly Smith and the cast of The Music Man?
I really liked the process Molly Smith used to help us discover our characters. She is really amazing, because she is able to turn a show into life. I also loved meeting and getting to know my stage family. We even took a family picture together!
What roles that you haven’t played yet do you want to play?
My two dream roles would be to play Rizzo in Grease, and Jane Banks in Mary Poppins. I would love to play Rizzo because she has a lot of spunk, and she’s kind of like “the bad girl” of the show. I would also love to play Jane Banks because in the beginning, she is stuck up and extremely precocious, but from inside of her emerges a really sweet and loving child.
Why should theatregoers come and see The Music Man?
Theatregoers should come see The Music Man because it has an original plot line, which is both humorous and a love story. The dancing in the show is really great, and Kate Baldwin and Burke Moses work really well together and are phenomenal at what they do.
The Music Man plays through July 22, 2012, in the Fichlander Theatre at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater -1101 Sixth Street, SW, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call (202) 488-330 , or order them online.
MIA GOODMAN (River City Kid, u/s Amaryllis, u/s Gracie) is thrilled to be working with Arena Stage in her professional debut. She is 10 years old and a fifth-grader in Washington International School’s Spanish-English program. Mia has sung with Washington Girls Chorus and has taken part in summer programs at Imagination Stage and Theatre Lab. Mia has performed with Baltimore Memorial Players (Molly in Annie) and Falls Church Providence Players (Zuzu and Young Violet in It’s a Wonderful Life). In her free time, she enjoys gymnastics and reading. She would like to say thank you to all of her friends, especially Maggy, for their support. Also, Mia gives many thanks to her loving parents and other family members who have always been there for her!