Backstage with the Cast of AG Live!Community
We caught up with a few of American Girl Live’s talented cast members to learn more about what they love about theatre, what excites them about this production, and what it’s like to bring some of American Girl’s stories and characters to the musical stage. Here’s what they had to say about the experience!
Jenna Bruce (Rebecca/Tori)
Girls need to encourage and accept one another, and this show is a great representation of acceptance and growth. Our show offers the audience the chance to see a live performance with strong female role models that must figure out how to work together to solve their problems. That’s one of the reasons why I love American Girl. They showcase real human backgrounds with real problems to overcome and real ways to face those problems.
Favorite character: Maryellen, because she is an advocate of being loud and proud!
Ashley Diane (Luciana/Bella)
Creating a story about powerful young girls, and reminding girls of their voice, is what excites me most about this project. With the story we tell on stage, I hope to remind women how impactful they can be and encourage young girls to fight for their dreams and face their fears. American Girl injects so much detail and careful research into their stories and characters, and the truth they tell through their diverse collection of characters is so important: they show girls that every culture is beautiful and that staying true to yourself is a high priority.
Favorite character: Luciana, because her passion motivates her to achieve her goals, no matter how big.
Laila Drew (Melody/Nia)
This show is so empowering. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before, and I can’t wait for everyone to experience it. That’s one thing I love about theatre: doing—and seeing!—thought-provoking shows offers an opportunity to step into someone else’s shoes and explore new worlds. It is a great way to start conversations for change. It’s exciting to be a part of a project like this, because I think our story has the potential to make a huge impact.
Favorite character: Melody, of course! She has such a good heart. Her world isn't perfect, but she doesn't let that stifle her optimism. She is wise beyond her years and doesn't hesitate to do her part in making the world a better place. Melody is an inspiration.
Monica Poston (Julie/Alyssa)
I’m so grateful for this story and for the friends I’ve made telling it. This show demonstrates not only to little girls, but everyone, that it's okay to fail, it's okay to be confident in yourself, it's okay to be different, and it's okay to follow your dreams! As girls read the books or watch their favorite characters come to life on stage, I know they’ll be inspired to follow their hearts and write their own stories. Growing up, American Girl always inspired me to be the best version of myself. Now, with every performance, I think about what it would have been like, and how life-changing it would have been for me, if I’d seen this show as a kid.
Favorite character: I love Luciana because like my dad, who designs nuclear rockets for NASA, she is passionate about discovering what more there is for humankind beyond our planet.
Kelsey Pressnall (Maryellen/Leah)
Theatre is such a singularly magical experience, and I believe in its unique ability to remind us of our humanity and our shared experiences. American Girl Live is a very female-centered project, on and off the stage, and I cannot wait to show young people that things like being competitive, taking initiative, and embracing your unique skills and interests are all things to be proud of. I hope girls will see on stage characters that remind them of themselves. I want them to feel like they, too, can overcome challenges and be strong, smart, and beautiful in their own unique way. If I saw this performance as a kid, I would be in complete awe.
Favorite character: I truly love Julie. She never lets age get in the way of standing up for what is right, and she is fearless in pointing out injustices.
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