Stageworks Theatre Welcomes Alumni Morgan Montgomery as Instructor
Introduce yourself to us! Where and what do you teach?
Hi Y'all! I am Morgan Montgomery. I am a senior Musical Theatre major at Texas State University and have been doing theatre for over 10 years. During my time in the theatre, I have acted, directed, and been behind the scenes, you name it! My life is theatre, and I can't get enough of the arts.
What classes will you be working on this summer at Stageworks?
I am super excited to be directing three incredible action packed camps this summer. Aladdin Jr, and two cabaret one week camps.
How did you get into theatre?
I was 9 years old. Mom said: wanna try out this theatre camp? I got casted as the troll under the bridge at this theatre. I immediately fell in love. The rest is history.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors?
Fail forward. Discoveries could not have been made without someone making a bold choice. So don't think, just do it. Who cares what other people think. Make a choice. That's how I landed all of my roles. Be an authentic, collaborative human being, and don't be afraid of dance classes, singing lessons, and acting lessons.
What advice would you give to parents of young aspiring actors?
Let them fail. Failure is incredible, especially when it isn't pre-rehearsed. Do not tell them how they should rehearse a line or sing a song, instead, help them with how to memorize it, if they ask. I got good at theatre not by what my parents or mentors told me how to do something, but how they guided me to find my own unique authenticity within myself. Let them come to it. They'll figure it out.
What is it about theatre students that always surprises you?
How easily they are able to immerse themselves in the environment of the show. Adults have a harder time with this than kids. I think we need to learn from the kids, and play pretend again. Imagination is key to a good performance.
Do you still like to perform? If so, what is your dream role?
Oh yes. My dream role was Sophie in Mamma Mia, which fortunately I got to do at Stageworks in Summer 2018. So I think the dream role has to move on to Donna in Mamma Mia. (Maybe in 10 years or so.) Or I'll say the Witch in Into The Woods. Veronica in Heathers. Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I have a lot.
How are you involved in theatre outside of your work at Stageworks? If so, tell us about it.
Very much so! At TXST I was recently in Beehive, a super fun 60's musical, and I was a swing for Little Women last year. I also pretty much spend 5 days a week thinking about theatre and taking theatre classes, as well as watching Broadway bootlegs.
What's your favorite show to watch?
Phantom of The Opera is hands down my favorite musical I have ever seen. Goosebumps. If I am feeling happier, there's nothing like Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia... incredible stuff.
What is the most misunderstood role in theatre? (Not character role, but role in a production?)
The Producer! Not a lot of people know what they do, and I got to learn first hand from my father who has produced a lot of shows here. They oversee the production, can make choices artistically and make sure the director's vision is in line with the theatre's expectations, and check in with the production to make sure everything is going smoothly. If they're a good producer, they'll also bring you pizza during tech week. (shout out to Michael Montgomery!)
What would your students say about you?
Probably that I expect a lot from them, but I make it lots of fun!
Do you have any favorite Stageworks memory? (Funny story or anything at all!)
Flying as Peter Pan at the Berry Center. It was a peak moment of my childhood and my whole life. There is nothing like hearing people applaud when I came flying through those windows. I will cherish that moment forever. Plus I got a Pixie cut out of it. Or, getting to perform for young audiences. Hearing them scream and giggle and talk to the performance is so worth it.
I have a dog named Elphie, named after Elphaba, (aka the wicked witch), from WICKED!
I have been in or been involved with over 30 Stageworks Productions.
I learned and helped assistant direct my first show at 16. It was D*mn Yankees! I also helped AD other Stageworks shows such as Bonnie and Clyde, and Cabaret.
I am a Professional watcher of all things Rupaul's Drag Race.
My hobbies outside of theatre: I am an excellent cook and a major foodie. Maybe if you sign up for one of my camps you'll get to try my cheesecake Oreo cookies. I also consider myself to be an excellent makeup artist. When I have free time, I also love to paint. I am a HUGE Lady Gaga fan, and my favorite age appropriate kids tv shows are Avatar the Last Airbender and She Ra: Princesses of Power. I also believe School of Rock is one of the best movies ever made. I also love to sing and play my ukulele.
What is your favorite thing about Stageworks?
The community. My life long friends have come from this theatre. I love the collaboration, the people, and the quality that this small and mighty theatre has executed over the years. I am more than proud to be a part of it, and am honored to give kids the same beautiful and electric experience I had at this theatre when I was younger.