"What I Was Born to Do": Bring It On Boasts a Record 32 Broadway Debuts; Meet the Newbies

By Michael Gioia
14 Aug 2012

Calli Alden

"Very soon after I graduated high school I booked the Bring It On tour," said ensemble member Calli Alden, who makes her Broadway debut at age 19. "As prepared as I was, it was still scary to take the biggest jump of my life into this big world. But looking back on it, I wouldn't have done it any other way."

Alden, who hails from Murrieta, CA, had many people to thank for making her Broadway dreams a reality. "My parents and my grandparents are my anchor," she said. "Annette Tanner (founder of the Broadway Dreams Foundation) has been a part of my journey since I was 11 years old. She helped make my Broadway dreams come true. Rachel Hoffman has been my angel. And, Tyler Hanes is someone I look up to, respect and cherish as a performer and a friend. The support from these amazing people has been the voice in the back of my head — or, very clearly, in front of my face — to keep pushing and never give up."

Antwan Bethea

Antwan Bethea, 27, admitted that he "never imagined [he] would be part of a Broadway production until Bring It On." Bethea, from Greenville, NC, had seven years of collegiate and professional cheerleading under his belt — but no theatre credits to his name. The world premiere production of Bring It On at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA, was his first professional job in the theatre, although he had been performing professionally — as a cheerleader — for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.

"The first preview was an incredible moment," said Bethea. "It just felt really great to receive such a positive response from everyone. I kind of felt like I was cheering at a college football game again! The roar of the crowd reminded me of the ECU [East Carolina University] games back home."