Alumna Sara Gallo (B.F.A. '16, musical theater), who is spending the summer at Tuacahn Amphitheatre in Ivins, Utah, shares how the Conservatory has prepared her for the challenge of performing in three productions—Cinderella, Matilda, and The Prince of Egypt—simultaneously.
I am currently participating in Tuacahn Amphitheatre’s 2018 summer repertory season. Located in Ivins, Utah, Tuacahn is a 2,000-seat repertory amphitheater that creates larger-than-life musical theater productions and works closely with Disney Theatricals. I am also joined here by three other Boston Conservatory alumni: Amos Oliver III (B.F.A. '13, contemporary dance), Ashley Talluto (B.F.A. '08, contemporary dance), and Santina Umbach (B.F.A. '11, musical theater).
I’m performing the roles of Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda and Gabrielle in Cinderella, both of which are regional premieres. I’m also covering two principal roles in The Prince of Egypt—of which Tuacahn is the largest staged production to date. We perform all three productions simultaneously. This is my first time working in rep, and I have Boston Conservatory to thank for giving me the skills, mindset, and courage to successfully perform these productions.
We began in April, rehearsing and opening Cinderella and Matilda simultaneously. Just a week later, we began rehearsals for The Prince of Egypt. Tuacahn brings in creatives from New York City and Los Angeles, as well as actors from every walk of life, from Broadway veterans to recent college graduates. During rehearsals for The Prince of Egypt, we were lucky to have Stephen Schwartz (music and lyrics) and Philip LaZebnik (book writer) at the helm.
This experience marks my first time performing professionally as a principal actor. When preparing to help lead such large productions, a huge amount of pressure and expectation falls on you. And with this, I only think of my memories at the Conservatory, where I was never put into a specific “type,” but encouraged to embrace my individual abilities and work to become the best version of myself. The Conservatory, the incredible faculty, and my wonderful voice teacher, Thomas Gregg, guided me here to present these two very contrasting roles.
To say this contract has been the most challenging work I have done thus far is an understatement. To create and find your character, learn choreography, and perfect it all while learning and performing different shows at night has been a test of stamina, nerve, and ability. My four years at the Conservatory not only taught me the necessary skills to stay healthy, to constantly discover within the work, and perform every night to my best ability, but to also have courage and faith in myself when performing.
I am proud to represent the Conservatory in Utah this summer and share these incredible stories every night. Tuacahn’s summer season runs until October 20, 2018.