BWW Interviews: Playwright/Actress Whitney Vaughn Takes on The Friday Five

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Inspired by BroadwayWorld.com's Friday Six, welcome to Nashville.BroadwayWorld.com's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find on stages in the Volunteer State.

Today's spotlight falls upon Whitney Vaughn, who this season has gained quite the following-and added some impressive reviews to her book-with her performances as Tracy Turnblad in separate productions of Hairspray from Lipscomb University Theatre and Circle Players. A student, an actor, a legislative intern and a future attorney, Whitney Vaughn is a bundle of energy, always on the move and always with a bright smile on her face.

This weekend, she finds herself in the spotlight in a different role-as playwright.  Her original play, Exposure, is given its debut production at Lipscomb University's Shamblin Theatre, as part of the school's Christian Scholars Conference. Directed by Sawyer McCoy Wallace, Exposure is described as "a riveting play about a high school guidance counselor's attempt to reconcile two teenage girls who have used social media to ruin each other's lives. It exposes the pervasive quality of social media and the damaging effects of poor parenting."

Exposure is the winner of the 2011 Christian Scholars Conference Playwriting Competition. There are two more performances on tap, Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9. Curtain is at 7 p.m. To order your tickets, call the box office at 966-7075.

Before you go see her new play, however, take time to read today's Friday Five and get to know a little bit more about Whitney Vaughn

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater? My first memory of seeing live professional theater was when my parents took me to see Cats jn Cleveland, Ohio. That's where it all began.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? Before a show I love sitting in the empty theater and blasting the playlist I have created my character. I value this time to stretch, warm up and pray for the upcoming performance.

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? My most memorable "show must go on" moment was during a dress rehearsal for Hairspray at Lipscomb University. My red plaid skirt was a little too big, and one of the clasps came undone during "Run and Tell That." I felt a sudden breeze, looked down, and my skirt was on the floor. Of course, nothing can keep Tracy from dancing, so I wrapped it around me like a towel and finished the number. (Thanks to my friend Shawna for helping me clasp it, since I couldn't leave the stage for 3 more scenes)

What's your dream role? Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical.

Who's your theatrical crush? I am officially declaring that I have a crush on Christian Borle.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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