by Lorie Lewis Ham
Something Rotten is coming to Fresno next week and will be performing at the Saroyan Theater on April 16 and 17. We got the chance to chat recently with one of the actors from the show, Emily Kristen Morris, who plays Bea. Emily is a California girl from San Francisco.
KRL: When did you first become interested in acting?
Emily: I did my first musical in 5th grade.
KRL: What was the first role that you ever played?
Emily: Rusty in Footloose at my local children’s theatre company.
KRL: What are some of the roles you have played professionally?
Emily: I did my first professional show at 42nd Street Moon in SF when I was 16. That was Sugar, the musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot. Since then I have performed professionally around the country and world! Some of my favorite roles have been Sophie in Mamma Mia and Nellie in South Pacific.
KRL: Why did you want to play this role?
Emily: I absolutely adore Bea. We’re 170 performances in and I still can’t get enough of her. She’s not your typical musical theatre leading lady. She’s so empowered. She knows what she wants, and she goes out and gets it. She also leads with compassion and has a huge heart. I would be Bea’s friend in real life if she weren’t fictional!
KRL: Can you share a little bit about the show for those not familiar with it?
Emily: The show is about two writers, Nick and Nigel, who are trying to write a hit in Shakespearean times, but they keep getting overshadowed by Shakespeare. So Nick goes to a fortuneteller and asks him what the next big thing in theater will be. The fortuneteller tells him “musicals.” So, Something Rotten is about the first musical to ever be written… and they get a whole lot wrong. It’s very funny.
KRL: Were you a fan of Something Rotten before you got the role?
Emily: I actually had never seen it! I’d heard many of the songs before, so I knew the music was great, but I didn’t know much about the plot until I got my audition and did my research!
KRL: What has been the biggest challenge in playing this role?
Emily: This is my first national tour, so it’s been a learning experience! Traveling this much, while keeping my body, voice, and mind healthy for the show each night can be challenging.
KRL: What do you like best about this show?
Emily: It’s by far the funniest show I have ever done! I love hearing the audience laugh each night.
KRL: What is a typical day like for you while in this touring show?
Emily: There is no “typical” day, really. Some days we are traveling. Some days we are out exploring/ being tourists. Other days we stay in and rest, because this schedule can be very demanding.
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