In Part 3 of a series of interviews with the cast of Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s Spring Awakening, meet Lexi Rhem.
Sam: Why did you want to appear in Spring Awakening at Metropolitan Youth Theatre?
Lexi: Well, Spring Awakening has been one of my favorite musicals for a while now, and I would jump at any opportunity to do the show. However, when I heard MYT was doing it I was ecstatic because I’ve seen a few of their past productions and know how amazing their shows always are.
Tell me a little bit about Wendla.
Wendla is a 14 year-old schoolgirl who desperately wants to understand the world around her and the changes she’s experiencing. Because of her curiosity, she tends to learn things by experiencing them, and she has trouble relating to people unless she has experienced the same things as them. This desperate want to understand stems from the way her mother raised her and the things she kept from Wendla.
How is Wendla similar to yourself?
I think the thing that I have most in common with Wendla is a sense of curiosity. I am constantly wanting to understand the way things work and why people behave the ways that they do, which in essence are the things that Wendla wants to understand as well.
What has been your greatest challenge in portraying Wendla? How did you overcome these challenges?
The biggest challenge in portraying Wendla has been the amount of vulnerability required. The thing that found to be the most helpful has been how close everyone in the cast is. It’s so much easier to find that place of vulnerability when I’m with a group of people I feel totally comfortable with.
Are there any life experiences you have faced that have helped you prepare for this role?
I actually have been fortunate enough to have a very different upbringing than Wendla, which has made playing her all the more challenging but fun!
How have you interpreted Chad Vann’s vision for the show and how has he helped you to develop and mold your performance?
Chad is constantly pushing me at every rehearsal to go farther with the character and has really helped to give Wendla depth and a clear character arch. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of portraying Wendla as a simple schoolgirl and Chad has made sure that doesn’t happen.
What have you learned about yourself as an actor throughout this process?
Something I became really aware of rehearsing for this show is that I can always go farther in my choices and actions.
What is it about Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s score that most moves you?
The melodies of so many of the songs are so powerful, and paired with the beautifully poetic lyrics, do an amazing job of portraying the emotions that the characters are feeling.
Is there any particular moment or number in the show in which you feel you’re most able to express your inner feelings?
This is a really interesting question because I think I relate better to certain songs depending on how I’m feeling that day. However, “Totally Fucked” is one of my favorite moments in the show because regardless of how I’m feeling that day, I’m able to let everything go and have fun.
Why should audiences come see your production of Spring Awakening? What makes the production different from others?
I can confidently say that this is the most talented and dedicated group of people that I’ve ever worked with. Chad’s vision for this show is so unique and I don’t want to give it away, but this is definitely something you don’t want to miss!
Meet the Cast of Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s ‘Spring Awakening’: Part 2: Quentin Araujo.
Meet the Cast of Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s ‘Spring Awakening’: Part 3: Lexi Rhem.
Meet the Cast of Metropolitan Youth Theatre’s ‘Spring Awakening’: Part 4: Carlos Castillo.
*The series of interviews are by Sam Cornbrooks.