DIVA TALK: Catching Up With Venice Star Jennifer Damiano

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31 May 2013

Damiano in Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.
Photo by Jacob Cohl

Question: How did you get involved with Venice?
Damiano: I got involved with Venice through my manager—you know, normally how one gets involved with a project. [Laughs.] It was a pretty fast process. And, it’s already going by so fast.

Question: Had you been involved with any of the other workshops of the musical?
Damiano. No, I wasn't involved with any of the workshops. This is my first time, but it’s cool to have a bunch of people in the cast that have already done it before and then a few new people.

Question: Without giving too much away, can you talk a little bit about the plot?
Damiano: I think for the most part it’s a love story about two younger people that have to grow up too fast in order to help the world and their community. Two people that come together under the impression that their being together will be a good thing for their country.

Question: Tell me about the character you’re playing?
Damiano: I’m playing Willow. She is a young girl who has had to grow up a little too fast. She’s been through a lot of loss, but she’s really strong and she resembles a symbol of hope and strength throughout the entire show. She’s a little older than the characters I’ve played in the past, so that's kind of cool to grow up a little bit and play someone a little older. I don’t know what else to say without saying what happens! [Laughs.]

Question: What’s the score like?
Damiano: The score is incredible. Matt Sax has done something really unique, and with the help of Eric Rosen, our director, it’s become something that I think will really make an impression on people. You can kind of usually tell when it’s going to be something or it might not be. But it feels like it will really resonate, especially with younger crowds, which I think is so important—especially younger crowds that aren’t that aware of musical theatre or that up to date with it. This is a cool segue into it through the things they are already listening to, more of that rap and rock world. I love the way the score invites everyone in.

Question Tell me a bit about working with Eric Rosen, who not only wrote the lyrics [and book] but is also directing the show.
Damiano: He’s so great. He is so kind and works with you. He lets me really have ideas and use them. It feels very much like a partnership between actor and director, which is not always how it feels. It’s been so great with him. He does a really, really great job and has never done anything that I could possibly be upset about.


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