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Back On Broadway: Caitlin Houlahan on Returning to WAITRESS, Her Favorite Moment in the Show, and More!


Hear Caitlin discuss what its like returning to the production after the shutdown!

BroadwayWorld's new interview series Back on Broadway is taking readers on the exciting journey of Broadway's return to the stage! Featuring interviews with cast and creative team members of Broadway's returning shows, Back on Broadway will highlight how members of Broadway shows are preparing for live performances, what they've learned from the last year and half, what is most exciting to them about Broadway's long-awaited return, and much more!

Next up in the series is Caitlin Houlahan, who is returning to the role of Dawn in Waitress!


What was the first day back in rehearsal like for you?

My cheeks hurt from smiling! It was surreal - as if we hadn't been away, but also as if we'd been away for years. It was hard to grasp that it was actually happening.

What was the best part of the rehearsal process?

Being able to be in a room with people I love and creating art together.

What was different this time around vs. rehearsing for a show pre-pandemic?

Aside from the obvious Covid protocol- it was that we had all experienced this huge, strange time in our lives and came out the other side with different priorities and, in my opinion, deeper hearts. It changed the way we interact, and approach rehearsal.

What did you most looking forward to about your show beginning performances?

The cheer of an audience and having to pinch myself that it's happening, it's really happening!

Do you have a favorite moment in the show that you looked forward to putting back on stage?

Soft Place to Land. It's the most wonderful, safe, magical moment.

Outside of the rehearsal room, how did you prepare to be back on stage?

Therapy, journaling, reflection, meditation. It took a lot of mental preparation.

What have you learned from this experience the past year and a half that you will carry with you in the future?

I don't want to ever take human interaction for granted. And that kindness always wins.

What does the return of Broadway mean to you?

It means many, many people will be able to pay rent, mortgages, and get health insurance. We also get to bring joy to audiences from all over!

Waitress reopened on September 2 at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre, where it will play a limited engagement through January 9, 2022.

Sara Bareilles, the Grammy Award-winning composer of Waitress, is now starring in the lead role of Jenna Hunterson for it's first weeks back onstage. Joining Sara for the show's return is Eric Anderson (Cal) Charity Angel Dawson (Becky), Christopher Fitzgerald (Ogie), Drew Gehling (Dr. Pomatter), Caitlin Houlahan (Dawn), Dakin Matthews (Joe) and Joe Tippett (Earl). The ensemble is Tyrone Davis, Jr., Matt DeAngelis, Andrew Fitch, Henry Gottfried, Molly Jobe, Emily Koch, Max Kumangai, Anastacia McCleskey, Gerianne Pérez, Stephanie Torns, and Nyla Watson.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a Waitress and expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. When a baking contest in a nearby county offers her a chance at escape, Jenna fights to reclaim a long-forgotten part of herself. Through the support of her fellow Waitresses and an unexpected romance Jenna begins to find the courage to take a long-abandoned dream off the shelf. Waitress celebrates the power of friendship, dreams, the family we choose and the beauty of a well baked pie.

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