Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your role as Motormouth Maybelle?
A: Motormouth Maybelle is a fast talking, hip DJ. She’s also a mother of two kids and she is a Civil Rights activist right as well during the ‘60s. She uses music and her celebrity platform as a DJ to make a stand [for] integration and [against] segregation.
Q: Do you feel like you relate to this character in any way?
A: Yes I do. The biggest way I relate to Motormouth Maybelle is that she stands for what is right at all costs and that she works with young people. She’s really trying to change young people’s lives.
Q: What do you think is the biggest message that you’ve taken away from the story of Hairspray?
A: That it is important to keep fighting for what is right. Sometimes it’s going to be an inconvenience for the life of your loved ones, but it’s important that if you believe in something that you should keep fighting for it until the day you die.
Q: Is this your first musical?
A: Yes. Ever.
Q: What made you decide to audition for this role?
A: I thought it would be a wonderful bucket list item since I’m going to be fifty. I didn’t realize how challenging it would be. It’s been a tremendous challenge, but it’s been fun.
Q: As a teacher, how do you balance work and also being in the musical?
A: I think I have a great support system on campus. The department, my teacher friends, and the administration here is very supportive. I also have been teaching the subject so long that I’m able to manage the workload.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: The discipline and the creativity that goes along with it and getting in front of people…[is] building my character and building a part of me that’s probably not been tapped into. Maybe boldness. Maybe courage.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to tell your audience who will be coming to the musical?”
A: It’s really about the students and about their hard work because there’s…sixty or so students involved–maybe more. I hope they enjoy all of their hard work. Of course Dr. Bartlett and Ms. Phillips and Mr. Gillette and Mrs. Riviera and a couple of others who have participated. It takes a whole lot of people to participate and I just hope that everyone enjoys it and realizes that it takes a lot of work.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed working with all the young people involved in this production from the orchestra to the cast to the tech crew to the production crew. They’re awesome.