What Shows Did Lin-Manuel Miranda, Laura Osnes, James Monroe Iglehart, and More Star in in High School?
Blair Goldberg: "Playing Bombalurina in our high school's production of Cats! God, I'm a dancer!"
Lin-Manuel Miranda: As Conrad Birdie in the sixth grade production of Bye Bye Birdie. I was twelve years old and three feet tall. And all the girls in sixth grade had to pretend to be in love with me.
Jennifer Ashley Tepper: During my junior year of high school in Boca Raton, Florida, my school, Olympic Heights put on Funny Girl. I got to play the pivotal role of Polly the showgirl, one of Fanny Brice's gal pals who appears with her at Keeney's Music Hall. Along with Bubbles and Maude, Polly is a backup singer/dancer for Fanny, early in her career. Polly also does things like spy on the other showgirls, gossip with Fanny backstage, and throw shade at her when she makes a fool of herself in front of Nick Arnstein.
Jennifer Ashley Tepper: A few scenes later, I also played the equally pivotal role of the backstage seamstress at the New York Theatre, where Fanny first works for Florenz Ziegfeld. When Fanny tells Ziegfeld that she can't sing her lyrics in the finale, all actors on stage were instructed to halt what they were doing, and show their alarm. I took this direction to mean: Carry a large wooden box from stage left to stage right and at whatever point Fanny says, "Mr. Ziegfeld, I can't do this," jump into the air and throw the box as far and as hard as you can.
Ariana DeBose: When I was 17 I was in a Wake County High School Production of A Chorus Line where I played Cassie. #Blassie It was pretty stellar.
Jose Llana: From my high school, The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. Rumors - senior year - as Ernie Cusack. A lot of silly fun and a ton of wrinkle lines and white crap in my hair.
Jose Llana: West Side Story - senior year - as Tony. I was playing this part when I decided I wanted to pursue a career in professional theater. It meant the world to me.
Raymond J. Lee: My first HS musical Crazy For You where I played Wyatt the cowboy.
Raymond J. Lee: The annual Blast From The Past at Winston Churchill High School. This was the first year I had a solo and got to sing "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" in a white tux.
Will Van Dyke: Finch in How to Succeed
Laura Osnes: I played "Neighbor Kid," which in the original play and movie version of "SummerTree" is supposed to be a black child, I believe... (oh, midwestern high school). I'm pictured with Dave Edwards who played the lead, Jerry, and I remember feeling so grateful because I was the only sophomore in a small cast of five other juniors and seniors. Eagan High School - One Act Play 2001. Directed by Dennis Swanson, who directed me in over 10 productions throughout my youth. We still keep in close contact today.
Natascia Diaz: As Adelaide in Guys and Dolls my senior year at Columbia Prep in NYC. I was eternally grateful for the non-traditional casting. My favorite memory was the skinny, hilarious stoner of our class stealing the show as Nicely!
Alexandra Silber: Golde at 15. What could be more appropriate? Incidentally, when I did Fiddler in the West End in 2007-8, I would often take Beverley Klein (who played Golde) aside and offer some "tips."
Wesley Taylor: Clearly a very subtle and nuanced performance, here's me as Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew. I was 16. Dr. Phillips High School.
Remy Zaken: In Captain Louie at the Little Shubert. Our opening night was on Halloween, so everybody dressed up. I was a cat.
Remy Zaken: In Spring Awakening, Lilli and I chilling between shows. We would go to tutoring together, along with Jenn Damiano, Gideon Glick and Gerard Canonico.
Heather Parcells: It was Anything Goes at Hampton Roads Academy in Newport News, VA. It was my first musical. I played "Virtue," one of the Angels. As you can see...having bangs was really in at the time in the 90's, so my pretty sparkly headband was completely hidden from view because of my terribly teased bangs. Oh...and those braces!!!! LOL. OH... I was terrible too!!! ha! The girl next to me is Mrs. Allie Wittkamp (formerly Lee) who is still a dear friend. We've known each other since we were probably 6 or so.
Joel Perez: Here I am as Conrad Birdie in my senior year production of Bye, Bye Birdie at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, MA. I drew those side burns on with a Sharpie!
Corey Mach: Me as Jesus in Godspell in 2003 (I was 15).
Joel Perez: Here I am in the 8th grade as The Herald in the first musical I was ever in, Cinderella at Fellowship Christian Academy in Methuen, MA.