Samantha Ma, Actor

Have you ever worked at the Festival before?
This will be my first summer working at the Festival, but I did attend shows at the Festival as a student every summer during high school!

 Where's your home base?
I'm originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, but I currently call Boston home.

 What's your education/training background?
I'm going to be a senior at The Boston Conservatory where I am studying Musical Theatre with an Emphasis in Acting.

 What brought you to your field and what keeps you doing your craft?
My mother enrolled me in ballet, tap and piano lessons when I was younger in an attempt to bring me out of my shell and to keep my skills well-rounded. I was terribly shy, was very much a tomboy, and mostly had my nose stuck in books, but when I was a freshman in high school, I auditioned for the school musical and was cast as Veruca Salt in "Willy Wonka." It was after this experience that my interest was piqued and I became more and more drawn to the stage and performing. As a current student in Boston, I get to see so many different types of theatre, dance and musical performances and I am constantly inspired by the wildly talented people I have the good fortune of watching and working beside.  Seeing how the theater world is changing every day pushes me to want to help make a change and make a difference. And to be perfectly honest, I do it because it makes me so incredibly happy.

 How will you spend your time off while here?
I want to attempt to go hiking as much as possible! I have also been trying my hand at convincing as many people as I can to go horseback riding with me because I used to ride all the time, but haven't been in the saddle since high school. Also, as embarrassing as it sounds, I'm trying to take some time to binge watch/catch up on tv shows and movies and books that I don't have time to enjoy during the school year.

 What does the Festival Experience mean to you?
The festival experience means tradition and family to me. I've been coming to the festival since I was a freshman in high school and it was my first, real exposure to Shakespeare while I was growing up. It was a tradition for me to come to the festival every summer in August with my high school theater class and it was and still is the best escape from the world for a few days and it gives me the freedom to just dive into a fictional world. I've grown so close to so many people in the company and being at the festival is like having a second family that will hopefully last a lifetime!

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
If I could be a superhero I would love the ability to talk to animals! If you ask my cast mates, I'm seriously drawn to animals...especially the stray cats that often roam around the local Cedar City parking lots. I love animals and would love to know what they're thinking and get that much closer to them.

If you had a time machine, where would you like to visit?
If I could go back in time, I would love to go back to the 1950/60s because I am obsessed with the rock and roll of the time period and the fashion! Also...I would just love to meet young Carole King and see her live.


Devery North, Company Management Assistant

Have you ever worked at the Festival before? 
Nope, first year here!

Where's your home base?
Kansas City, KS

What's your education/training background?
BFA in Theatre Management from Stephens College
Four month program in London with the Theatre Academy of London through Florida State University

What brought you to your field and what keeps you doing your craft?
Being a Kansas City native and growing up around amazing theatres like Starlight Theatre and the Kansas City Rep, I was bound to become a theatre geek. My parents started taking me to the theatre when I was in kindergarten and they nourished my love of the arts when they enrolled me in my church choir in second grade.

Continuing to push myself in new ways as an artist is a priority of mine. French Renaissance writer François Rabais last words, "I go to seek a Great Perhaps" we're first brought to my attention in the novel Looking for Alaska by John Green. These words have resonated with me since I read them several years ago. This mantra continues to motivate me to do great things.

How will you spend your time off while here?
Exploring the beautiful parks around Cedar City. Coming from the Midwest I've never lived in a place that is surrounded by mountains, so it will be many exciting and new adventures.

What does the Festival Experience mean to you?
The Festival Experience to me is growing as a company. I've worked in a summer-stock environment before and it always so much fun to bond with the people you are working while also working together to achieve the common goal: producing wonderful theatre.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I would be Spiderman, no questions asked.

If you had a time machine, where would you like to visit?
The Globe during Shakespeare's time! Being a Groundling would be amazing.