Madelyn “Madi” Allen performs a beautiful role as Beth March in the University of Nevada, Reno’s adaptation of “Little Women”, setting the stage for a successful future career on Broadway.
Showing off her skills in singing, dancing and acting, Allen is instantly a triple threat. Despite only being a sophomore at the university, she has an abundance of performances under her belt.
In high school, Allen played The Cat in the Hat in “Seussical The Musical” as well as The Drowsy Chaperone in “The Drowsy Chaperone” musical. She also mentioned she’s been doing plays since the fourth grade, and has been taking voice lessons for about ten years.
“Though I got into dance kind of recently, I just declared it as a minor … I want to get better at it,” Allen said.
Now, Allen is a musical theater major and dance minor at the university. So far in her collegiate career, she performed in the “Power of One”, a theater performance where students wrote their own monologues and presented them to people they cared about. She also performed in the dance showcase, which was a student-choreographed performance.
When Allen auditioned for the role of Beth March in “Little Women” she said she resonated with the role and it was her role to get.
In the auditioning process of “Little Women” the performers would audition and write down the three roles they most wanted. Ultimately, they would be picked for the role the show producers thought was the best fit for them.
Allen put down the order of Beth, Jo and Amy for her preferences, but she explained she would’ve wanted to play Meg if she could’ve.
Though Meg March was Allen’s ideal role for the “Little Women” musical, her general Broadway dream role is Bonnie Parker from the musical “Bonnie and Clyde”.
Allen refers to herself and Bonnie Parker as hopeless romantics.
“Of course [Bonnie] is not a great person. But I kind of relate to her in the sense of her wanting to be a showgirl … instead, though, she fell in love and ran away and I could very much see myself in a scenario like that,” said Allen.
Allen also refers to herself as a comedic actress, which is ironic considering she just played the tragic role of Beth March.
Nonetheless, her role as Beth will shine a spotlight on her for the growth of her future career. Allen’s dream, like other musical theater majors, is to move to New York and perform on Broadway. However, her alternative plan is quite an impressive and bold move for someone in her major.
“Honestly what I’ve always wanted to do as a life goal is open a non-profit theater for kids, because I couldn’t afford theater when I was little so I want to do it for other people,” Allen said.
Even though Allen lacked the funds to do theater when she was younger, it didn’t stop her inspiration from persevering. She fell in love with the career when she was at the “Matilda” musical in San Francisco.
“I remember thinking that’s so insane that these kids are able to like to create such artwork,” she said. “And I remember I was like I want to make people shocked, I want to make people feel like that. So I think seeing ‘Matilda’, that being my first Broadway show, I guess that I saw, kind of inspired me to get into it.”
Obviously theater became her passion and true love, but it didn’t mean she’d never seen a bad musical play out. Allen’s least favorite musical is “Be More Chill.”
“I remember my first negative thought of it was because I read an article saying that Stephen Sondheim watched the show and got up and left in the middle …, “Allen said. “… [A]nd then I started watching it and I remember I just saw it and I thought like wow this is the way that Broadway is going … it was just not a favorite for me.”
She prefers classic musicals over the more modern ones, which is why pursuing this role for “Little Women” and being able to perform in it was monumental for her.
Allen says her favorite parts of performing in musicals were getting to know the people involved and feeling the satisfaction of her achievements when it was all over. Those feelings of fulfillment were especially present for her participation in “Little Women.
“It’s such a family environment,” She said. “Like truly, everyone has this one similar thing in common … what I like about college is that it’s more mature and we can respect each other’s talents and … just be in awe rather than feeling a need to be better than that person.”
Even though Allen says the workload is tough and very hard to juggle—one which has caused her specific turmoil in regards to her sorority and school life—she knows she’ll never give up on the pursuit of her dreams and recommends the same to other musical theater majors out there.
“Don’t give up,” Allen urged, “It’s such a beautiful thing. And it’s not easy … but if you love it so much just keep doing it.”
Allen’s successes so far in her lifetime have created such a prominent foundation for her future. As a talented triple threat, it is expected that she will go far in her pursuit of a Broadway career.
Jaedyn Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.