The Nance - meet cast member Danielle Comer!

What do you find appealing about your character and this show? I really love how fun these characters and this show are. Lots of what they do is to make people and each other laugh and there are so many high energy scenes and it’s just FUN. At the same time the show deals with a lot of important issues regarding the gay community especially during this time period as well as a look at love in general. It’s a great balance of entertainment and something deeper.

What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of “Joan”? I’ve learned more about how I can push myself as an actor, not only mentally and emotionally, but physically as well with all the dancing and singing the show requires. I think I definitely surprised myself with how confident I’ve become in my portrayal of someone so different from myself in real life. It’s really satisfying to look at a challenging role and think “Hey! I think I’ve done a pretty good job!”

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show? First and foremost, I went the audience to have fun. This show is very much a comedy and has so much fun in it- I want the audience to have fun and laugh with us. Second, I’d love for them to take away more of the history of gay culture in this time period and overall a respect for the people and performers that were a part of the unique burlesque culture, both the men and the women.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? Well, I’ve never really had to take lots of my clothes off before or be exposed onstage that much so that’s definitely different from roles I’ve played in the past. That and the dancing. Not a huge dancer so that was different as well. Mostly, I think Joan is one of the most confident in herself characters I’ve played so that has been fun and challenging to work on.

How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA? I’ve been acting since I was 6. I started in summer camps at Mount Vernon Children’s Theatre and just kind of went from there. I studied in high school and got my degree in Theatre in college and I’m currently working towards a Master’s In Arts Management. Mostly I’ve been exposed to LTA through my director and theatre teacher in high school. Both direct shows at LTA and have been very involved so it’s always been something I’ve been interested in. I was in my first show at LTA about two years ago and so now I’m back to do it again! Fun fact, my director in high school who introduced me to LTA is none other than Frank Shutts, the director of The Nance! This is the first show he’s directed me in since high school which has been so much fun and rewarding to continue to grow my craft with him.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre? Resilience and perseverance. So much about working in theatre is staying true to yourself and your talent. Work hard, be confident and true to yourself and don’t let anyone get you down. If you love it and it’s a part of you, never let it go.