The Nance - meet cast member Charlene Sloan!

What do you find appealing about your character and this show?
I just love this show. I love the music and the comedic style of the time period. I also love that the play has an important story to tell, and it shows both sides. It shows the hard times and the good. It shows the horrible discrimination suffered by the gay community in the late 1930s, and how performers of the time used comedy to deal with those realities. My character Sylvie is tough and principled, yet she remains understanding of other viewpoints. She is more than the stereotypical burlesque dancer, she is complex, politically aware and does her best to stay in control of her life and fight for what she believes is right.

What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of “Sylvie”?
I’ve learned that what drives me towards a particular role is exactly what scares me about playing that role. Lately, I’ve been driven to try for parts that are way out of my comfort zone. It may be uncomfortable at the time, but I always feel good about the experience after. Maybe pushing our limits is what makes us grow?

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?
I want people to laugh, be entertained and have a good time, but I also want them to reflect on how far we have come and how far we have yet to go towards personal freedom. There are some important messages in this play that shouldn’t get lost amidst the comedy and music and we are all working hard to make sure those messages get through.
What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?
I would give the same advice that someone once gave to me, “If you really want to try it out then go audition or sign up to help. What’s the worst that can happen? They just say no and you try again.”