In Part 2 of a series of interviews with the cast of Ruthless! The Musical at Creative Cauldron, meet Sophia Manicone.
Joel: Please introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you appear on local stages and roles you have played.
Sophia: My name is Sophia Manicone and I’m a sixth grader at Louise Archer Elementary. Some of my other favorite roles were Amy in Little Women at Aldersgate Community Church Theater, Bielke (the youngest sister) in Fiddler on the Roof at Vienna Youth Players, and Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods at Harmonia. My first big public performances were as I went through the Vienna Idol audition process and finals where I ended up winning! That led to other shows and meeting people in local community theater. My largest audience so far was 900 people when I sang the National Anthem to open a conference in Washington, DC.
Who do you play in Ruthless! and how do you relate to your character?
I play Tina Denmark an 8 year-old who is desperate to get the lead in her school play. I can relate to her – when I go to an audition of course I really really want to get the part! But Tina takes it to a crazy extreme!
What is it about Ruthless! that made you want to be part of this show and cast?
It’s such a funny show! It makes fun of theater kids and theater people. I was super excited to work with Matt and Bobby and my cast mates who have all played such major roles – they all have awesome voices and are super funny actors. I knew I could learn a lot by working with them.
There are so many references to other classic musicals in the show. Which of these shows really epitomize your character and why and how?
I think Baby June in Gypsy as she also had fame obsessed adults pushing her.
You all have great solos-your time in the spotlight. What are the name of your solos and what do we learn about your character while singing these solos?
In “Born to Entertain” we learn that Tina is a musical theater obsessed kid who loves singing and dancing more than anything.
In “To Play this Part” as we get the idea that she might take her school play a little too seriously.
What song that you don’t sing is your favorite, and why?
“I Hate Musicals”- because it’s so funny and has so many references to other shows that I love.
If you could write another ending for the show and for your character – what would it be?
I would have Tina’s parents and grandmother cheering her on from the
audience while she accepts her first Tony Award!
What have you learned about yourself-the actor-while preparing for your role in Ruthless!
I’m usually a pretty shy person. Working on this show I’ve learned that
sometimes you just have to go for it and let you inner diva shine. You have to take risks to be funny.
What is the best suggestion or advice that Director Matt Connor offered you in shaping your performance? How would you describe Matt’s directing style?
He encouraged me to not be afraid of looking silly. One night he told me to act like him! He likes to give the actors a chance to try their ideas for how their character would behave – their odd mannerisms.
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing you in Ruthless!?
That everyone has a little bit of ruthlessness inside and we should be
careful about that!
When was the last time when you were ruthless? What happened?
I don’t think I’ve ever been ruthless with anyone – except maybe my little
sister and I argue. And when that happens I usually get in hot water with my parents!
What are you doing next on the stage?
I haven’t planned ahead for another show because I’ve been busy working on this one! I have some auditions coming up for some local productions so
hopefully you’ll see me in another show soon!
Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 1: Kathy Halenda.
Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Meet the Cast of ‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Creative Cauldron: Part 2: Sophia Manicone.