This week Playbill checks in with Andrea Macasaet, who created the role of Anne Boleyn in the Broadway production of the international hit musical SIX. She first played the role in the 2019 pre-Broadway North American tour and gave her final performance in the Toby Marlow-Lucy Moss musical December 4, 2022.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the actor recently returned to Canada for rehearsals for the Stratford Festival's upcoming production of Jonathan Larson's Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent. Directed by Thom Allison with choreography by Marc Kimelman and music direction by Franklin Brasz, the April 8-October 2 engagement casts Macasaet as Mimi Marquez opposite Kolton Stewart's Roger and Robert Markus' Mark.
In the brief chat below, Macasaet, whose Canadian theatre credits also include Heathers the Musical, Avenue Q, Miss Saigon, and Prairie Nurse, reflects on her journey with Six, and explains why Mimi is one of her dream roles.
What is your typical day like now?
Moving my body every day. Reconnecting with loved ones. More human being... less human doing.
Looking back at your journey with Six, can you share a favorite memory on stage and a favorite memory backstage?
I'd have to say my favorite memory is a tie between the very first time we did the opening number [pre-Broadway] at Chicago Shakespeare and when we did the opening number on our final show on December 4, 2022. In terms of backstage, there are too many funny, special, insane memories to pick only one. I guess my favorite memories are the ones that had me deep belly laughing right before places and the moments of peace when life felt chaotic.
Why do you think the musical has been such a hit around the world?
I think everyone can take something away from it. SIX brings people together. We all need community. That’s what the show gives. Community.
During this time of reflection and re-education regarding BIPOC artists and artistry, particularly in the theatre, what do you want people (those in power, fellow artists, audiences) to be aware of? What do you want them to consider further?
I think the answer is simple. It is to show up. Buy tickets. Buy tickets for someone else. Re-post their posts on social media. Show up. Show up. Show up. To quote KPOP Broadway's Helen Park: "To my fellow Asian creatives: Please do not think you should stop making bold, honest art. It would be catastrophic if the lesson learned here is to have any chance of success on Broadway, we must cater to the white gaze and cherry pick what they would like to see."
What, if anything, did you learn about yourself during the past two years that you didn’t already know?
I am way more capable of what I think I can handle and accomplish. And that if I lead with my faith, everything will all work out.
Do you have any other stage or screen projects in the works?
Returning back to Canada in February to have a little play time at Stratford Festival!
You'll be playing Mimi in Rent at the Stratford. Are you a fan of the Jonathan Larson musical? Is this a role you've wanted to play?
Big fan. The music in Rent is timeless. "Seasons of Love" was one of the first ensemble songs I learnt while taking musical theatre classes throughout my childhood! Mimi has been a dream role of mine to step into, and I’m very excited to be back on Canadian soil for a little while to discover the woman that she is, through the experience of life and love that I have.
Do you have any other dream stage role?
Still waiting on that Legally Blonde revival.
What organization would you recommend people learn more about or donate to during this time of change?
Shouting two organizations out of my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba: Siloam Mission and K9 Advocates Manitoba.