"Keep not quitting:" Broadway star Beth Malone inspires theatre majors
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 4:40 PM
Broadway star and Tony Award-nominated actress Beth Malone was the guest of honor at the Moss Performing Arts Center on Jan. 30. She spent the afternoon speaking with Colorado Mesa University theatre majors about her experiences onstage and answering their questions about careers in the field.
Malone is currently starring on Broadway as Big Alison in the musical Fun Home, a new show based on the best-selling graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel. Malone was nominated for a Tony Award in 2015 for her role in the musical.
A Colorado native, she was in town visiting her parents and had just finished a day of skiing when she stopped by to chat with the students about her intimate involvement with the development of Fun Home from the ground up. She also talked about her experiences as a Broadway actress who is also working to get her foot in the door of TV and film.
Much of Malone’s time at CMU was spent taking student questions and advising them on their careers as well as on how to stay motivated and inspired as an artist. She stressed that everyone is on their own journey and has a valuable story to tell.
She was realistic but encouraging about the struggle ahead for the young artists. “You’re going to get discouraged,” Malone said, but emphasized that it’s what you do about that discouragement that counts.
She noted that finding work as an older actress is sometimes a struggle, as she feels she is beginning to “age out of what society finds interesting,” but that this situation is beginning to change.
Malone also recently played Molly Brown in The Unsinkable Molly Brown at the Denver Center, a role she described as joyful, in contrast to her role in Fun Home which is fulfilling in a different way — more “intrinsically satisfying and … pure,” she said. For her, comparing the two roles is like “comparing apples to semi trucks.”
She took time after her talk to meet students personally, to sign autographs and to take lots of pictures before heading back to Fruita for her favorite pizza at The Hot Tomato.