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Cincinnati by Scott Cain


INTRODUCING ... SARA SCHMIDT

Interview by Scott Cain

(The "INTRODUCING ... " series features an interview with an
up-and-coming theater professional who appears in a Southwest Ohio
theater production, including national touring companies.)

Who: Sara Schmidt
Hometown:  Philadelphia, PA/Birmingham, MI
Age:  24
Training:  Ithaca College - 1999

Scott Cain:  You are appearing in the national tour of Fiddler On The Roof currently playing at the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati. What has the experience of performing in your first national tour, alongside a famous actor such as Theodore Bikel been like?

SS:  It has been great. The tour started in late October (2000) and I just recently took over the role of Chava, Tevye's middle daughter. I was in the ensemble and understudied several roles previously, but I took over for another actress as Chava in Providence and Cincinnati is just my second city full-time in the role. Working with Theodore Bikel has been a memorable experience too.

SC:  Fiddler involves many issues dealing with religious beliefs. Have any of your own beliefs changed or been useful to you in this show?

SS:  It's opened my mind a lot. I've learned a lot about how far women have come in society, and religiously. It is horrible what happened to the Jewish people then. And it is sobering to know that people are still persecuted today because of their religious beliefs.

SC:  You previously performed in Cincinnati at Playhouse In The Park in A Little Night Music, where you received praise for your performance as Anne. What are your favorite memories from that production?

SS:  It was an amazing experience. I absolutely love Cincinnati and it is a joy to return here. When I was here with ALNM, I met so many wonderful people who will be friends of mine forever, some connected with the show, and others not. Professionally, it was great to see how down to earth and friendly everyone was, even the stars such as Donna McKechnie and Cris Groenendaal. I really learned a lot about being a professional during the run of that show here in Cincinnati.

SC:  Last year, you were in the Off-Broadway cast of the musical Imperfect Chemistry. How did you deal with being in a show that got less-than-favorable reviews?

SS:  Despite the reviews, it was a joy to be involved with the show. It was my first audition after A Little Night Music in Cincinnati. I learned so much from being in an original cast, where the script was changing everyday. I loved coming to work each day. The people were great and I got a lot of insight into the business through that experience.

SC:  What training have you had for theater?

SS:   I am a 1999 Graduate of Ithaca College with a BFA. I performed in Grand Hotel, Romance Romance, and 1776. I also performed in the Off-Broadway production of The Fantastiks during summer break, which was very special. I still train with my high school vocal coach too.

SC:  Are there any performers that you really admire?

SS:  I really have learned a lot from Tamra Hayden, who plays one of my older sisters in Fiddler.

SC: What are you plans following Fiddler?

SS:  The tour ends on July 1. I would love to be able to spend the 4th of July at the beach! I plan on going back to New York City and auditioning. I want to keep on learning and moving forward in my career.

-- Scott Cain


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