Posts Tagged ‘Rehearsal’


I would like to congratulate my director and fellow castmate for their Broadway World Chicago awards.


Our director John Nasca, who is also costuming our show, won Best Costume Design (Resident Non-Equity) for his work on Reefer Madness at Circle Theatre.

Michelle McKenzie-Voigt won Best Actress in a Play (Resident Non-Equity) for her performance as Sissy in Sordid Lives at Ludicrous Theatre Company.

Tonight Charlie and I will be performing a scene from Beautiful Thing at a Christmas party – stay tuned for video and photos. Until then, have a Beautiful Day!


Michelle McKenzie-Voigt has professional credits ranging from Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) to camp (Poseidon: An Upside-Down Musical). Recent favorites include The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, Jesus Camp, Company, The Spitfire Grill, Cabaret, and Sordid Lives, for which she has been nominated for a 2012 Broadway World Chicago Award as Best Actress in a Play (Resident Non-Equity). She is honored to have worked with such theaters as Profiles, Provision, Organic, ITC, BrightSide, Cornservatory, Ludicrous, and Handbag, among others. A professional singer and voice talent, she is a Northwestern University graduate, four-time Chicago Emmy Award-nominee, and a proud company member of both PFP and Glitterati Productions.

Full Birth Name: Michelle Marie McKenzie-Voigt

Hometown: Evanston

Age you became interested in theatre:  I don’t remember a time – even as a child – when I wasn’t interested in performing.

Favorite show you worked on: Gypsy

Most memorable moment while working on a show: Every show has its own special memories, but in general, the moment just before I begin a big (solo) number is my favorite.  I feel as though I’m giving the audience a gift that’s just about to be unwrapped.

Mentors or inspirations:  My first mentor was my high school drama teacher, Frank Robins.  He’s no longer with us, but his support and encouragement were pivotal, to say the least.  After that, I’d have to say Tony Mockus, who got me my first Equity job, and John Nasca, who changed my life by giving me the role of a lifetime.

On a show day, how early do you arrive at the theatre:  I typically arrive at least 1 hour before curtain, but depending on the role, I may get there 2 hours early.

Dressing room must-have:  My script and, if it’s summertime, an electric fan!

A show and role you would like to do:  Non-musical: Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  Musical: I’d love to reprise Rose in Gypsy

If you were in NY for 4 hours what show would you see:  The Book of Mormon or anything John Nasca considers a “must-see”

The best part of waking up is: Folgers in your cup.  No, seriously, when I’ve been able to sleep soundly for 9 hours!

If you could change your first name, what would you change it to: I’ve always loved the name “Michelle” and would never change it.  But I do like the name “Katherine” – if I’d had a daughter, I would have named her that.

Favorite food:  Warm chocolate cake with a glass of ice-cold skim milk, preferably eaten in bed.

Worst costume:  I was dressed as a chicken for a dinner theater musical revue

First stage kiss: My first stage kiss was also my first kiss in real life!  I was 15 and rehearsing a scene from William Gibson’s wonderful play Dinny and the Witches.  All my friends knew I had not yet been kissed and they congregated en masse in the auditorium to watch the first rehearsal of that pivotal scene!

One lesson you have learned while working in the theatre:  Patience.

Most unplanned moment or funniest unscripted moment that happened to you while onstage:  This was by no means funny, but it was certainly unplanned.  During Gypsy, I was about to launch into “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” when one of my bracelets broke, scattering dozens of tiny round beads directly in my path.  The director  held his breath – he had visions of me slipping on the beads, which were everywhere, and crashing to the floor.  Fortunately, that did not happen!

Pre-show ritual:  I don’t have one.  I do like to review the notes the director has given me throughout the rehearsal process, but I wouldn’t call it a ritual.

Biggest pet peeve: Knowing when the show is going to be videotaped.

One piece of advice for those who are aspiring to work in the theatre:

1)   Believe in yourself.  If you don’t, no one else will. 

2)   Always ALWAYS be polite to everyone.


4)   Take classes; it’s important to keep learning and growing. 

5)   Read plays and go to see theater.

(I guess that’s more than one, isn’t it?)

One of the many things that has made this rehearsal process so wonderful for me is working with a group people who are funny, smart, witty, and unbelievably talented.

I talk about my castmates all the time, but I failed to do a proper introduction. So I asked each of them to fill out a short Q & A to help you get to know them a little better. Each day next week, I will post the answers from a different cast member, leading to my personal answers on Friday. First up on Monday you’ll hear from Kiah McKirnan, who plays the role of Leah.

Below are the questions I sent to my castmates. I would love to hear your answers to these questions, too! Please leave your answers in the comments section below. And if you have any questions you want to ask my castmates, director, or me, please write me at

Until next time, have a Beautiful day!


Full Birth Name:


Age you became interested in theatre:

Favorite show you worked on:

Most memorable moment while working on a show:

Mentors or inspirations:

On a show day, how early do you arrive at the theatre:

Dressing room must-have:

A show and role you would like to do:

If you were in NY for 4 hours what show would you see:

The best part of waking up is:

If you could change your first name, what would you change it to:

Favorite food:

If you could meet a Broadway legend, living or dead, who would you meet:

Worst costume:

First stage kiss:

One lesson you have learned while working in the theatre:

Most unplanned moment or funniest unscripted moment that happened to you while onstage:

Pre-show ritual: 

Biggest pet peeve:

One piece of advice for those who are aspiring to work in the theatre:

Here are a few photos from our rehearsal last night. Check back tomorrow for a special video our cast put together for Global Bullying Prevention Day. Until then, have a Beautiful day!

photo 5photo 4photo 3photo 1photo

Happy Monday!

I am excited to share my first video blog with you. I must apologize in advance – I was a bit nervous so I say “umm” a lot. Hope you enjoy the first of many video blogs to come!

Have a Beautiful Day!



Ste (Charlie Wein), Jamie (Robert Hilliard) and Leah (Kiah McKirnan)

December is here! I can hardly believe it, but Beautiful Thing opens next month; the past few weeks have just flown by. As we get closer to opening night, the pace starts to pick up, so let me bring you up to speed. 

We continue to raise money for the show, even though we are just a few weeks away from opening. For those who did not see my previous blog about why we are raising money, click here. If you are interested in making a donation to our production, please click here. We are still far from meeting our goal – your donation of any size is greatly appreciated.

Rehearsals are moving right along without any major problems. We had another review rehearsal over the weekend, which I think went well for the most part. Tonight we have another review; I will give you an update on how things go, so stay tuned.

Check back tomorrow for a special surprise! Until then, have a Beautiful Day!

Sandra (Michelle McKenzie-Voigt), Leah (Kiah McKirnan), Jamie (Robert Hilliard), and Ste (Charlie Wein)

Our dialect coach Jeremiah Davis stopped by our rehearsal on Friday to check our progress. We sat in chairs and ran the lines from all the scenes we have blocked to date; this proved surprisingly challenging. We’re used to running things on our feet, so keeping the energy and pace up while sitting down was a bit of a challenge. After we ran through each scene, we stopped to get notes from Jeremiah. We are very fortunate to have him working with us; he is doing an amazing job guiding us so our accents are authentic (and consistent).

When we finished working with Jeremiah, we blocked a portion of Leah’s acid trip scene, which is one of the funniest scenes in the entire show. It didn’t take very long to block and we had a good laugh doing it.

Our director and one of my castmates have been nominated for Broadway World Chicago awards; more on that next time.

Until then, have a beautiful day!

I must apologize for not posting an update recently; my schedule has been rather hectic. I promise I will post at least twice a week, more if I can.

“Leah” Kiah Mckirnan

Rehearsals are moving right along. We still don’t have a stage manager, but we are getting along just fine without one. That’s not to say that we don’t NEED one, I’m just saying that we have managed fine without one. If we don’t have a stage manager by tech week, I will start to get extremely nervous.

Each rehearsal we have been taking a few pages from the script and working on blocking and character. Aside from a few minor “bumps,” the blocking rehearsals have gone smoothly. The most challenging rehearsal to date came last Saturday when we reviewed everything that we blocked so far. We were asked to be off book for this rehearsal so we could focus on acting instead of looking down at our script. A couple of my castmates had their lines memorized, but the rest of the cast, myself included, needed to carry our script pages at various times throughout the rehearsal. We ran everything a couple times and for the most part it went really well. We are making progress!!!

Because of my big mouth, we now have a running cow joke at every rehearsal. More on that another time.

Until next time, have a beautiful day!

I should really do my research before I promise something.  Due to the logistics of the website where this blog is hosted, I am unable to post a video as easily as I thought.  My schedule is jam-packed today, so coming up this week, I will fill you in on our rehearsals this past weekend.  I will also work on getting a video posted soon.
Until then, have a beautiful day!