BWW Interview: Theatre Life with Megan Graves
Today's subject Megan Graves is currently living her theatre life on stage at Adventure Theatre as the title character in Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook. The production runs through August 14th at the company's performance space in Glen Echo Park.
This very talented and versatile pint-sized performer has been entertaining DC audiences of all ages in a variety of projects for many years now. Her Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) credits include The Twelve Days of Christmas at Adventure Theatre and The Magic Finger, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), The Night Fairy, and James and the Giant Peach for Imagination Stage.
Her theatre credits for the older set include Taking Steps and Peter and the Starcatcher at Constellation Theatre Company, The Second Shepard's Play and A Midsummer's Night's Dream at Folger Theatre, Redder Blood at The Hub Theatre, Passion Play and Clementine in the Lower Nine for Forum Theatre, The Cripple of Inishmaan at 1st Stage and Peter Pan: The Boy who Hated Mothers for No Rules Theatre Company.
It's said that good things come in small packages and Megan Graves proves that theory to the max. Her pixie-like qualities make her endearing to every audience. As you will read, one audience member took her love of Megan to a whole other level.
Summer time means family time and a huge carousel to welcome you to Glen Echo Park. There is no better reason to check out Megan Graves and Company in Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook at Adventure Theatre. The production is directed by Rick Hammerly so it's sure to be a fun time for all ages.
Were you a theatre kid growing up and was there a particular show that inspired you to become a professional performer?
I didn't start doing theatre until high school. At that point it was a social outlet more than anything else. I started to look at it as a professional option in college, thanks in part to seeing a fantastic production of Twelfth Night at the American Shakespeare Center and understudying Arcadia at the Folger.
What was your first professional performing credit in the DC area?
Life With Father at the now defunct American Century Theater.
Can you please tell us a little something about your current project Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook at Adventure Theatre?
This is a story about finding out who you are and embracing what makes you unique. That's a tough challenge for adults, let alone for a six-year-old! But Junie B. is up for the challenge. I love her pluck and determination.
Were you a fan of the Junie B. Jones stories as a kid?
I wasn't aware of the Junie B. Jones books as a child. I was a voracious reader, but somehow they never entered my cultural consciousness. My first job was in a children's bookstore, so that was my first encounter with this beloved series.
You've performed in a number of TYA productions around town. We all know kids say the funniest things. What is the funniest and most memorable encounter you've had with a young audience member after one of your performances?
In The Magic Finger at Imagination Stage, I started the show seated in the audience. I was supposed to be incognito, so I would typically slip into my seat just as the lights went down. There was one particular day that we had to hold the house, and so the kids around me started noticing that I was there. One little girl became convinced that I had been separated from my field trip group. She made it her mission to help me. She shouted, "Are you lost? We need to find a GROWNUP!" She had a series of questions: what school did I go to, who was my teacher, did I see any of my classmates nearby? It was both hilarious and moving. She thought that I was in trouble, and she was ferocious in her determination to make things right. I hope that girl runs the world someday.
Can you please pick a role from a musical and a role from a play that you would like to perform when you age into them?
Stephen Massicotte has a stunning play called Mary's Wedding that I'd love to do. I'm also a huge fan of Sara Bareilles' musical Waitress. It's quirky and moving, and I love its celebration of female friendship.
After Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook concludes its run, what does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Ms. Megan Graves?
I'll be back at one of my artistic homes, Forum Theatre, in the fall. Show details are coming soon.
Special thanks to Adventure Theatre's Director of Communications Amanda Bradley for her assistance in coordinating this interview.
Theatre Life logo designed by Kevin Laughon.