Today, we shine the spotlight on Sara Ris Bronson, who plays the role of Ursula in our production of SWEET CHARITY.
Sara Ris (Ursula) studied vocal performance at Oberlin Conservatory and acting at Seydways Studios. Bay area credits include: The Speakeasy (Virginia), San Francisco Summer of Love (Michelle Philips) and A Little Princess. Sara has also sung in numerous operas and bands and is currently half of the country duo SARS with her husband, Lars. She is thrilled to be part of Hillbarn’s Sweet Charity and thanks her friends, hubs and Black Betty for their support!
What inspired you to accept a role in SWEET CHARITY?
I’d heard that the directorial staff was both talented and supportive — and they are!!
What, if anything, do you have in common with your character, Ursula? And how are you different?
Ha! Ursula and I both have a flare for “the dramatic.” She, however, is well-dressed ad perfectly put together, whereas I tend towards a more rag-tag, rough around the edges look;)
What do you think the audience will be discussing on their way home after seeing SWEET CHARITY?So many things! The dancing, the sets, the hilarity!
Charity (Monique Hafen) and Oscar (David Blackburn) are both so funny and sweet and carry the show effortlessly. I think the audience will be talking about lovable they were!
When did you discover your love for the theatre?
I can’t remember ever NOT loving it, but this memory stands out. My grandmother took me to Les Miz when I was about 9. I’d already memorized the whole cast recording and sang along the entire show. She swears that Fantine kept giving me the evil eye for trying to steal her thunder!
How did you get started in theatre?
My whole family did community theatre outside Boston from when I was really young. One of my first featured roles was Gretl in The Sound of Music. (I was so short that I passed for 5 at 11.)
What do you love about performing on stage?
I love feeling connected – to the audience, cast and crew. There is nothing like the energy of a live production!
What is your favorite and most memorable role you ever played? Why?
While I loved playing engenues like TiMoune in Once On This Island and Chava in Fiddler on the Roof back in the day, I’m excited to grow into more character roles. I love weirdos, undersdogs and witches!
If you could pick one actor/actress to perform with on Broadway, who would it be?
Audra McDonald. She is my definition of perfection. My old classmate is replacing her on Broadway in a couple of months (SO proud!!), so she too, Rhiannon Giddens, is right up there for me.
(Also, can I please have a love scene with Jeremy Jordan?)
Name one person you admire and describe them in 5 words.
Alicia Gangi. She has 5 kids — and does theatre.
Who would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with? Why?
President Obama. 1. He would get us out of there REAL fast and 2. I’d get to hang out with him in the meantime. (Really, I’d be ok with anyone who likes to sing. Other than Doug Greer…or at least his Sweet Charity character!;)
Do you have any wacky rituals you do before curtain call?
Nope. But I am a bit compulsive about my false eyelashes. Especially in this show!
What is one thing you are incredibly proud of?
Getting back into show biz. I took 10+ years off to try to be a “regular person” (and strut around the stage in bands;). It took a lot of courage to dust off my character shoes and put myself out there again!
Don’t miss your chance to see Sara Ris in SWEET CHARITY May 5-29, at the historic Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City. Tickets available at hillbarntheatre.org
Photos courtesy of markandtracyphotos.com