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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

September 13, 2012

Meet Vanessa Moyen, Guest Actor Starring as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde the Musical”

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 11:52 am

Vanessa Moyen, Guest Actor Starring as Elle Woods


Q: Where did you grow up? Were there any activities you did as a child that led to your passion for theatre and the arts?
A: I grew up in San Jose, California. I tap danced a little in preschool (emphasis on a LITTLE), but the thing that really got me interested in the arts was the shows my parents took me and my sister to at the Center for Performing Arts in downtown San Jose and at the local children’s theatre.  I always knew I wanted to be on that stage someday too!


Q: Where did you study theatre?
A: I started in 6th grade at a community theatre drama camp, and from there kept performing up through high school (I took classes in school as well as places like American Musical Theatre of San Jose and Actor’s Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco).  After that, I jumped over to the East Coast to get my Bachelors of Fine Arts from Emerson College in Boston.


Q: Where have you worked previously? What are some of your favorite roles?
A: I’ve been lucky enough to work at theaters in California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Indiana and South Carolina now and have loved all of it!  Some of my favorite roles so far are Kate Monster/Lucy in Avenue Q, Olive in Spelling Bee, and Hilda in Plain and Fancy.  I think Elle is now moving to the top of my list though!


Q: How did you prepare for playing the lead role of Elle Woods? Were there any challenges or things that you were excited about with taking on this character?
A: I was pretty lucky to come into the role with the experiences of having lived in both California and Boston, so I didn’t have to do much research on that! I’ve been a huge Reese Witherspoon fan and have loved Legally Blonde, the movie since I was a kid and have probably seen it over 300 times–so I was also really familiar with the material.

Some of the challenges that came with this role for me were getting into the sorority mentality.  I was never in a sorority and never really felt a draw towards it, so that part of it was a little challenging to get in to.  I also LOVE the story, so I really wanted to do it justice!


Q: You’ve been in performances for the past two weeks… what do you most look forward to each performance playing Elle Woods?
A: I really look forward to the journey I get to take every night.  Whenever I’m in the Malibu scenes I think “Man, I can’t wait to get to the Harvard scenes!” and when I’m in the Harvard scenes I think “Oh! I can’t wait to get back to the Malibu scenes!”  Then I remind myself I get to do it all over again the next night and that calms me down a little.  I love that the show is so fast-paced and always moving!


Q: Last season you were a Charleston Stage Resident Actor. What did you learn from that experience and what are your thoughts on returning to Dock Street Theatre as a Guest Actor?
A: One of the biggest things I learned from that experience was how to make my acting and rehearsal process efficient.  The volume of shows we did last year was faster and much more than any series of shows I’ve ever done before and I really learned how to produce quality work quickly.

I’m so glad I get the opportunity to return to the Dock! I love this company and the theatre is absolutely beautiful! I feel so lucky that I get another opportunity to perform in this space let alone with Charleston Stage again!


Q: What’s next?
A: Up next I’m making the move to New York City.  I’ve been saving and working up to it for quite a while now and I think I’m finally ready to take it on!


Featured Center: Guest Actor Vanessa Moyen as Elle Woods.





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