While many kids are accused of spending too much time on screens of different types and not being able to communicate with peers or elders, that isn’t the case for Quincey Steelman, 10.
Quincey has big dreams of being an actress and is working hard toward the goal with various projects and performances throughout the year.
She is currently wrapping up her fifth visit to the Broadway Beginnings Workshop held each summer at Ozark Actors Theatre, Rolla. The workshop is open to ages six through 18, with a tuition cost. For 10 days, over 30 students attend and learn from professionals. This year the workshop is held for two weeks, with a showcase performance planned for Saturday.
Workshop creative director is Taylor Louderman, best known for her portrayal of Regina George in the Broadway musical Mean Girls. She was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2018. She performed at OAT in 2001, at the age of 10, when she was cast in the title role of Annie. She is a Sullivan High School graduate.
Not unlike Louderman, the acting bug bit Quincey at an early age, her family fondly remembers.
“She would stand in front of the fireplace glass and sing and dance when she was around two years old,” said mom, Kristi.
Quincey saw “The Wizard of Oz,” around age five, at The Fox Theatre in St. Louis. She decided then that acting is what she wanted to do when she grew up.
Most recently starring as Mrs. Brill in Salem Upper Elementary’s spring production of Mary Poppins, Quincey has been a part of several projects. She is in her third year of First Baptist Church’s Kidz Choir, and has participated in the choir’s performances. She was in gymnastics and dance class, but traded her tap shoes in for piano lessons. She plays volleyball with Salem Volleyball Club. Recently she started vocal lessons with Shannon Phelps, vocal instructor for William Lynch and Salem Upper Elementary.
Quincey enjoys singing and dancing equally, and has recently been listening to Annie a lot, as SUE plans the classic for the 2020 spring performance.
“I don’t know where it came from,” laughs mom, Kristi. “No one in our family has these interests,” she says of the stage acting.
Quincey also enjoys reading, basketball and writing. She often pulls ideas from movies or books, and places her own spin on the story.
She watches YouTube for acting tips, and has seen every version of Peter Pan ever made.
“I love hanging out with my group of friends and dance crazy and weird,” she laughed. Friend, Addison Stewart is joining her at the workshop this summer.
“We are just goofy together,” smiles Quincey, mentioning best friends Josie Howard, Rylee Parker, Brooke McColloch and Stewart.
Live theatre is her ultimate dream. When asked where she sees herself in 15 years, she said, “auditioning in musicals in New York City.”
In addition to the OATS summer workshop, Quincey plans to audition for the Missoula Children’s Theater in September, also held at OAT.
According to its website, Missoula Children's Theatre is the nation’s largest touring children’s theatre. Touring for over 40 years from Montana to Japan, there are plans to visit nearly 1,200 communities in 2019 with up to 44 teams of Tour Actor/Directors.
“A tour team arrives in a given town with a set, lights, costumes, props and make-up, everything it takes to put on a play. . . except the cast. The team holds an open audition and casts 50-60 local students to perform in the production. The show is rehearsed throughout the week and two public performances are presented on Saturday. All MCT shows are original adaptations of classic children’s stories and fairytales . . . a twist on the classic stories that you know and love,” touts the site.
Quincey has auditioned twice for the company, playing Tweedle Dee in Alice in Wonderland in 2017.
Stay tuned as Quincey pursues her dream of acting, ultimately hoping to see her name in lights one day.