Q&A with Ana Viveros

The first-year musical theater student is the inaugural recipient of the Sutton Foster Scholarship Award.

April 27, 2021

Ana Viveros (B.F.A. '24, musical theater) is the inaugural recipient of the Sutton Foster Scholarship Award, which is given to an outstanding student in the B.F.A. in Musical Theater program who demonstrates exceptional potential. The scholarship is named for Sutton Foster, an award-winning actor, singer, and dancer who has performed in 11 Broadway shows and starred in the television series Younger. Foster received an honorary doctorate from Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2019, and returned to campus in 2020 to offer a master class. Viveros reflects on her first year as a Conservatory musical theater student and her theater role models, including Foster. 

What show made you fall in love with musical theater?

Les Miserables was my introduction to musical theater when I played Little Cosette at age seven. I was amazed to find this art form that so perfectly captured the way I expressed myself and viewed the world. Musical theater was a dream realm where everything seemed possible, and I found a home within the score and on the stage. Claude-Michel Schӧnberg’s music and Herbert Kretzmer’s lyrics submerged me into an entirely new level of storytelling and creation, and it’s still in my go-to musical theater rotation to this day.

Who are your musical theater role models and why?

Sutton Foster, Katrina Lenk, Cynthia Erivo, and Ann Reinking. These women all bring their hearts and souls to the stories they tell. In completely individual ways, all four of these women center their work on their humanity and who they are, and are absolutely engaged in every moment. Whether they are singing, dancing, or acting, their presence—their life force—floods the space. I strive to emulate such intimate artistry and soul when I create. 

What’s your favorite Sutton Foster performance?

Sutton’s performance as Jo March in Little Women. Her connection to the text and complete investment in “Astonishing” is absolutely brilliant, not to mention her stunning voice that effortlessly delivers the powerful force swirling within her character at that moment. It’s a performance I frequently revisit when I’m in need of some power of my own. 

Why did you choose to attend Boston Conservatory at Berklee?

I chose Boston Conservatory for the community. Being able to share such a deep love for the arts with my peers and inspire each other with our work is such an important thing to me. I knew that I wanted to be somewhere where I was totally immersed in creation and collaboration, with the focal point being a genuine care and consciousness surrounding the art and future industries we are building. It was vital that I be part of a community that paves the way for the artistic world.

What has excited you most about your first year at the Conservatory?

Learning in a place where we are encouraged to make things happen, challenge the structure, and forge our own paths. Being given the space to cultivate my own artistry and bring all of myself to the work unapologetically has been the greatest gift. It has enhanced my learning experience and my creative process so much.

What has surprised you most about your first year here?

The abundance of available opportunities we’ve had this year. Even during a pandemic, we have been able to speak with a wide variety of incredible guests, produce plays via Zoom, and collaborate on virtual larger-scale projects like our recitals and first-year showcase. I never expected to have the chance to listen to so many iconic figures like Chita Rivera and Andre De Shields in a single year. So many of my biggest takeaways and favorite memories from this year came from the talkbacks, Q&A sessions, and special guest assemblies.