Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform on local stages and what roles you have played.
My name is Leslie Lewis and I am originally from Georgia. I’ve been living and performing in the DC area for almost 6 years. I played Sandy in Grease at RMT (Nominated for a WATCH award for Most Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical), Marian the Librarian in The Music Man at RMT, and several other wonderful productions.
Why did you want to be part of McLean Community Players’ 1776?
I was eager to be in a show after going over a year without being in one. 1776 is a classic and I really enjoy participating in those types of musicals. I was also excited to work with MCP since I have not worked with them before.
Who do you play in the show, who was your character, and how do you relate to your character? Does this character have any of your personality or character traits?
I play Martha Jefferson. I can relate to Martha’s fun and loving spirit because my personality is very similar. She is very much in love with Thomas and I know what it feels like to love as passionately as she does. I love how joyful and charismatic Martha is.
What have you learned about your character that you didn’t know before you were cast in this production?
I honestly didn’t know much about Thomas Jefferson’s wife. I didn’t even know that was a character in the show until I did some research prior to auditions. I’ve enjoyed the experience of playing her.
What is your favorite song in the show that you sing and that someone else sings and why?
Well I only sing one song. “He Plays the Violin” is a great song and I love how fun and cheerful it is. It’s the only thing I really get to do, other than make out with Thomas Jefferson! My favorite song is probably Sit Down John because I love listening to the strong male voices! It’s also such a powerful opening to the show.
What have been some of the challenges you have had during rehearsals, and how did Director Annie Galvin help you with these challenges?
My only challenge was I really wish Martha could do more in the show. I’m only in a scene and half! Annie has been so respectful of my time when I’m at rehearsal. I never feel like my time is wasted when I’m there. She gives great feedback and has been very helpful.
What has impressed you most about your fellow cast members?
I’ve been so impressed with the long monologues some of the cast members have memorized. The cast members work so hard and treat each other in a professional way while still having a good time. We have so much talent!
Why do you think 1776 is still so popular after so many decades and what does it have to say to today’s theatergoers?
I suppose it’s popular because it’s based on historical events. America’s beginnings are brought to life with a script full of great dialogue and music. It’s a classic!
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you perform in 1776?
I hope the audience learns a little about this important chapter of American history while being entertained. I also hope it inspires a bit of patriotism.
1776 is playing from February 5-21, 2016 at McLean Community Players performing at The Alden Theatre – 1234 Ingleside Avenue, in McLean, VA. For tickets, purchase them at the box office, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of McLean Community Players’ ‘1776’: Part 1: Brent Stone.
Meet the Cast of McLean Community Players’ ‘1776’: Part 2: James Myers.