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Annie Beaubien

What is YOUR theater origin story?


I’ve known I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a little kid. I remember seeing The Lion King in Chicago with my family when I was about 5 and thinking “That’s something you can do as a job? I want to do that!” and I’ve been hooked ever since. I had my first role as Goldilocks in my kindergarten production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Lines Elementary and I never looked back. But also, as I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that what drew me to acting was a love of storytelling and experiencing the creation of something live and new each night with each new group of people that fill up a space. Plus, it’s always a gift to create art on stage with friends, especially if we get to be a little goofy in the process. 




 

Where else have you performed and what are some of your favorite roles?


I am very grateful to have had some incredible opportunities working with some amazing people and companies since I graduated from college. I’m a company member with Surging Films & Theatrics and have played a variety of roles for them, such as Kitty in The Drowsy ChaperonePaula Abagnale (BroadwayWorld 2023 Nominee) in Catch Me If You CanJosephine “Old Ma” Strong in Urinetown (Jeff Nominated Best Ensemble Short Run)Mrs. Puff in The SpongeBob Musical, and Ensemble/Magenta Understudy in The Rocky Horror Show. Some of my other favorite credits include Rachel/Everywoman Understudy in MotherFreakingHood! (Mercury Theater Chicago), Bus Driver in Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!, The Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz (AlphaBet Soup Productions), Carrie Pitezel in The White City: An Audible Exhibition (A Theater in the Dark),  Charity Woman/Constance/Mrs. Crow in A Christmas Carol, Green Girl Understudy in SHOUT! the Mod Musical (Metropolis PAC), and Clarice Orsini Understudy in Botticelli in the Fire (Jeff Nominated Best Play, First Floor Theatre). However, some of my favorite roles came from my time as a Theatre and Biological Sciences double major at Northwestern University. I got to play Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot, Roz in 9 to 5, and be both a cast member and Co-Chair of The Waa-Mu Show

 

Do you work primarily as a performer or do you have a ‘day job’?  


My current day job is performing Theatre for Young Audiences aka Children’s Theatre! Right now, you can catch me playing The Knave of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland with AlphaBet Soup Productions. The show runs at various locations throughout the Chicagoland area until July 20th. Come check us out! 


What do you list at the bottom of your resume as your ‘additional skills’? 


Getting to add to my “special skills” section on my resume is one of my favorite things to do. Outside of theater, I also do voice-over work, so many of my special skills are related to silly voices or impressions I can do. The ones I currently have listed on my resume are a Standard British dialect, a Cockney dialect, an American Southern dialect, a French dialect, the Wicked Witch of the West (really any kind of witch), Barbie, an elderly woman/man, a young child, a Generic Male Lead in an Anime, and an impression of Kristen Wiig impersonating Liza Minnelli. Clearly, I take my silly voices very seriously. 

I also double majored in Biological Sciences when I was in college with the goal of working with animals! Due to a very cool internship I had working at the Wildlife Discovery Center, I also have Reptile/Amphibian Care and Handling Training listed as one of my special skills! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to use that one in a show yet. 


 

What drew you to auditioning for this production? 


Just before auditions took place, I performed in the Barrington Belts Cabaret with Parker Players! I loved my experience working with the company and was excited for an opportunity to be a part of a longer process. Additionally, I was very excited about this specific interpretation of the show. Not only did it seem incredibly cool and unique, but it also felt very fitting, thought-out, and simply ready to be brought to life. I also admire Jenilee Houghton quite a bit and have deeply enjoyed my past experiences working with them so I was very excited about the potential opportunity to work together again. I know the deep care and incredible craft they bring to their work and I knew that if they were a part of the production, everyone would be in incredibly safe, and creative, hands.  




Tell us about who you play in Amadeus. 


I play Baron van Swieten, Prefect of the Imperial Library. He is a member of the Royal Court and cares deeply for tradition, the classics, and old-fashioned music… not a big comedy fan. 

I also may play a few various other roles throughout the show, but to learn more about that, you’ll have to come see the show!


Biggest challenge in playing this role? 


Honestly, the biggest challenge with playing Van Swieten is that he so strongly dislikes comedy. While I’m obviously allowed to disagree with my character, often the thing I love to bring to characters is my sense of humor and my love of being a little goofy. With Van Swieten, I’ve had to find different aspects of myself that resonate within the character in order to unlock who Van Swieten is to me. Even though it has been a challenge, I’ve enjoyed building a character from a more serious foundation and finding what parts of myself interject throughout that process. 


What sort of person is going to love this show?  


I think folks who love hearing a story from every point of view or love hearing the same story through different interpretations will love this show. 


Call someone out by name: who must come see this production? 


This is a bit of a dream invite, but I think the band Fall Out Boy, specifically the lead vocalist Patrick Stump, would really enjoy this specific interpretation of Amadeus. They’ve always been genre-bending artists with a flare for the dramatic (the 2023 So Much For (Tour) Dust performance was incredible, I still think about it often) so I think the text of Amadeus mixed with the specific vision for this show would be very intriguing to them. They are Illinois natives so who knows, maybe they’ll stop by if they happen to be home for the summer. 


What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show? 


I think audience members will drive home thinking about how art of any kind is created and exists in our world, and how different factors in one’s life can unfortunately inhibit your exposure to or ability to create art, even if you know that art and the act of creating are essential to your existence. I hope folks leave feeling grateful for the ability and privilege to consume and create art. 

 

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?


I looked on astounded as from his ordinary life he made his art. We were both ordinary men, he and I. Yet he from the ordinary created legends – and I from legends created only the ordinary. 


What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage?


Before I step out on stage, I try to find a way to center myself and allow myself to shift back into the mindset of my character, especially if I’m playing more than one character in a show. Often for me, that means shaking out my body, followed by some deep breaths as I work to root myself to the ground and find my character’s physicality. However, sometimes a show requires a bit more energy on entrances, so using that shakeout and breathing to up my energy levels works just as well. My favorite moments before stepping on stage have happened in shows where I would often make my entrances with the same scene partner each time, so we developed a bit of an energy-building routine (also known as a handshake) to get us in synch with one another and to get each other laughing. 


All the best,

Annie Beaubien





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