Monday, January 19, 2015

Meet The Cast of SYLVIA - Racquel McKenzie (Sylvia)

Hello Racquel and thank you for taking the time to tell us a little about yourself. Have you ever worked with Class 6 before? 

This is my very first show with Class 6 Theatre. I recently moved to Phoenix for work so I decided to audition and voila!

Welcome to Phoenix! We are glad to have you on our team for this production. Can you tell me some of your thoughts on this project?

My first thought was 'this is so strange'. Seriously, I was wondering how to play a dog with out prowling around on all fours; how to keep the balance. Then I realized it was a challenge that I was willing to accept. Projects like these grow you as an actor and that excites me the most.

On that note, what do you think makes this story important to share?

I think the story is important because at some point everyone is missing something from their lives. We can't always put our finger on it but if we remain open and receptive it may just appear before us while sitting on a park bench.

Being a recent transplant, can you tell me what is your vision for the future of local theatre in Phoenix?  

I lived in Chicago most of my life, so my vision for local theatre in Phoenix is for it to mirror a huge bustling city of art and performance.

We all hope that too! Until then, what’s up next for you?  

Well, I moved to Phoenix to direct my own troupe for my theater company so many more shows in murder mystery style.

Sounds like a lot of fun! Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us today. We are all very excited to see your performance in this production of SYLVIA! 

Get your tickets today!

Racquel McKenzie is a native of Jamaica. By the age of two she made the big move to America and settled in Chicago. Growing up with a business man for a father and a dancer for a mother she was built to make performance her business. She states, “"My mom danced with the Alvin Ailey dance company. She toured all over the Caribbean before coming here. And once we got here my dad showed me how to build a business solely on a dream. Together they both inspired me"”. Through grade school and secondary school she performed in many plays, talent shows, dance shows, and as a second violinist in her school’s orchestra. Not only did she shine artistically but she also played basketball and ran track; receiving medals in both.
In high school she performed in over ten shows ranging from witty satire to the orchestral performances in Florida; from Anything Goes to the Harlem sounds of Ragtime. She graduated with honors and set forth to achieve a degree in theater.

Racquel McKenzie is a graduate from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with her BA in theater. While in school she appeared in, Anton Chekhov’s The Proposal, One Fine Day, and Box Office: A History. She was also seen as Abigail in SIUC’S The Crucible, Miss Shields in A Christmas Story, Beneatha in A Raisin in the Sun, and as Esther in Intimate Apparel. Half way through her college career she lost her mother unexpectedly but still finished off her semester with high marks and graduated Cum Laude. She remarks, “"Nothing can ever hold me back. I’ve been through one of the most despairing things a young person could go through and I still finished strong. If I can do that I can do anything"”.She was President of the Africana Theater Lab, the only registered student organization for the theater, for her last two years. She was a student representitive on the Recruitment and Retention board for SIUC’s theater and from that taught an African Dance workshop for IHSF. She has received many awards including Outstanding Service in Theater, the Ira Aldridge/Shirlene Holmes Award for service and excellence in theater, the Verizon Scholarship for excellence in Theater and a KCACTF commendation for an exemplary performance in Box Office: A History.

Her professional works began with the St. Louis Black Repertoire Theater’s production of Death and the King’s Horseman. Since then she has been seen as Suzanne in McLeod Summer Playhouse’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile and as a featured ensemble in All Shook Up. She played little Leayn in the premier of Timmy the Tractor. Soon after she began an international tour through Barbados, England, and Nigeria in which she played Elizabeth in Seven and Ayisatu in Preemptive. After returning to the US in the fall of 2010 she filmed with Steven Soderberg for Contagion. She was last seen as Pearl Joiner in Theatre-Hykes' Werewolf's Curse or Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow and performing every weekend as a veteran dancer with Gorilla Tango Theater in their nerd burlesque shows including Don’t Blink; A Doctor Who Burlesque and A Nude Hope; A Star Wars Burlesque.
Racquel is excited to have recently made the move to sunny Phoenix to run her own troupe with The Murder Mystery Company. For Racquel this is just the launching pad for a missile of works that are yet to come. "I'll float like a butterfly and sting like a bee...or just try my best in every moment."
Twitter: @kellzbroadway1
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