Cari Walton, a musical theatre senior, will perform with Maine State Music Theatre (MSMT) this summer in notable productions, concerts and an acapella group throughout Brunswick, Maine. She will work alongside seven talented MSMT performers from around the country and play leading roles in “Titanic,” “9 to 5,” “Rapunzel” and portray Alice in “Alice in Wonderland.”
How did this unique opportunity arise?
Several TCU Department of Theatre students traveled to Knoxville, Kentucky, to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference, a musical theatre audition to secure summer theatre work. I prepared material that best represented my skills, auditioned and then received a call back from Maine State Music Theatre.
After I spoke with TCU alums and faculty who had worked at MSMT, I decided to join for thesummer. I did so even after being told it would be a lot of work—and while that is true, it’s the good kind of hard work. I am grateful for the support from my theatre department and alumni in my summer internship search.
What made you want to pursue your area of study?
I began taking dance lessons at just three years old and grew up at a dance studio in Iowa. I developed a love for acting and the opportunity to take on new personas on stage. Musical theatre combines all aspects of performance—singing, dancing and acting, which I wanted to do.
I set my sights on TCU from the start—auditioning three times for the Department of Theatre in Atlanta, New York and Chicago. I wanted a full university experience, and TCU offered that. I chose this career to continue expressing stories and meet incredible artists that inspire me. I believe that the stage is where I am happiest.
Who has most impacted your TCU experience and why?
I would not be here at TCU and doing what I am doing without the love, support and encouragement of my parents, Tom and Lori. They are co-captains of “Team Cari.” My Mom has been my choreographer, costumer, scheduler and coach. My Dad has been my music director, press agent and lawyer. Both have been very generous! But most of all, they are my number one fan. I can always turn to them when I need help.
How have your studies and time at TCU prepared you for this role?
To become the most versatile performers we can be, TCU constantly challenges students to broaden their ranges and do something different. We continually practice, audition and perform to hone our skills. The program is also very serious about portraying characters with authenticity.
We strive to make each character come alive, which helps us present each show’s story accurately and with heart. I have felt my confidence as a performer grow and develop over my three years at TCU, not just as a performer but also as a person and a diligent worker.