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BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL

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The national tour of A CHRISTMAS CAROL lands at the Ahmanson November 30, 2021

BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL

The national tour of A CHRISTMAS CAROL lands at the Ahmanson November 30, 2021. Winner of five Tony Awards, this perennial holiday classic stars Bradley Whitford, Kate Burton and Alex Newell, with a supporting cast which includes Chante Carmel, Dashiell Eaves, Brandon Gill, Evan Harrington, Chris Hoch, Sarah Hunt, Alex Nee, Sebastian Ortiz, Cade Robertson, Brett Ryback, Harry Thornton, Glory Yepassis-Zembrou and Grace Yoo.

Had a lovely phoner with Glory on what led her to this, her debut Equity gig.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Glory!

Is A CHRISTMAS CAROL your first professional gig?

Yes, my first Equity professional gig. I did an off-Broadway show in July in New York, STRANGER THINGS which was a parody musical. I was a swing for that. This is my first professional Equity gig, so it's exciting.

How was your first day of rehearsal? Were you star-struck? Or just anxious to get to work?

BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL Honestly, I wasn't really sure who was in the cast except for Bradley. But then I walked in, it was like, oh, first-day-of-school jitters. But I saw Alex Newell and I said, 'Oh, Alex is in this?' And then Kate Burton walked in. I said, 'Oh, Kate's in this?' This is a CAST cast. Okay, I'm in great company, and I'm just grateful to be here.

Who was the first to make you feel welcomed?

Chante Carmel. It is Charles Dickens. And it historically has been played by white people. So I was feeling a bit anxious in terms of 'Oh, God! Please let there be other people of color in the BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL production.' I walked in and then I see Chante across the room, and we literally just run to each other like, 'Yes!' It was a cute little moment. Chante definitely made me feel welcome.

Who's the cast cut-up?

I'm thinking... Chris Hoch is pretty funny. It's never intentionally funny, but he just naturally says things that everyone is like, 'Okay, Chris. Honestly?'

Is there a father or mother figure in the group?

I am the youngest amongst everyone in the cast aside from the Tiny Tim's. I would say Alex BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL Newell is definitely mother. Mother is always on my ass. (Or excuse me, my butt. I don't know if I could swear). And father, I would say Dash (Eaves). I mean, he's just dad. I love him so much. He is just so kind-hearted and just says, 'How are you doing today?' Yeah, I love him.

How long have you been in rehearsal then?

We have been rehearsing for four weeks. We started October 4th in L.A. Then we moved up to Spokane for two weeks of tech rehearsals, and then we started previews.

What productions of A CHRISTMAS CAROL had you seen before?

I've never actually seen like a stage production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The ones I'm familiar with are the Muppets classics. Also, Mickey Mouse's Christmas Carol with Donald Duck I am familiar with. Then there's that Jim Carrey version that came out a couple of years ago. I remember that as well. Muppets and Mickey Mouse. That's what I grew up on.

BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL If you were to submit your character Little Fan to an online dating site, what qualities of Little Fan would you include?

I would say open-hearted. A jokester, loves to laugh, loves to go out and just be around family and friends.

What flaws would you definitely omit?

Talks too much. They don't need to know that. They don't need to know that. They do not need to know THAT.

What was it like when you first tried on your Little Fan costumes?

It felt really good. It is a period piece and so we're in the rehearsal rooms and I'm in sweats and BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL my sneakers. Putting on the dress just made it all surreal. Like, 'Oh, yes! I am playing this character.' Like really just taking ownership. It was amazing. Even the way I was standing, it felt a little bit taller. Got my shoulders go back a bit. Yeah, it was great.

In an alternate universe, under what circumstances would the characters you played (AIDA's Aida, RENT's Joanne and Little Fan) be at a common event? For a charity dinner? At a Sunday farmers' market? In line at the DMV?

Oooo! This is a good question! I like the range that's between all three characters. Wow! I'm BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL really trying to figure out the common ground between all three... I would say probably a charity auction for children in need. I see that.

Who were your acting idols growing up?

I love Viola Davis hands down! Absolutely! Bold! Italicized! Underlined! She is who I have always looked up to as a Black woman and as a Black actress coming up. It's just her depth that she goes into. Every single character is so grounded and so specific, and I love that she truly allows herself to be just transformed by that character. Really puts herself 110% into the character and it's no longer BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL Viola Davis. She just becomes a character. She just is and I love that. I really love that about her.

I loved How to Get Away with Murder. Didn't you?

Absolutely! Annalise Keating. Are you kidding me? That was down to the walk.

What piece of advice or instruction you received at AMDA College and Conservatory do you try to adhere to today?

Do your work in terms of building a character, the specificity. Just do your work especially in a play. You can't get by on just BS. You really have to be present.

Who would you love to work with? I have a feeling I know who that is.

BWW Interview: An Assured Glory Yepassis-Zembrou Debuts in A CHRISTMAS CAROL Viola Davis! Or Lupita Nyong'o. I could play her little sister or a familial something.

What's in the near future for Glory Yepassis-Zembrou?

That is a great question! I will let you know once I figure out the answer.

I think you have the longest name of anyone I've interviewed. Has anyone ever suggested that you adapt a shorter stage name? Or do you want to see your name take up as much space as possible on the marquee?

Oh no, my name will be on the marquee fully Gloria Yepassis-Zembrou because that's my family name. My family's originally from Central African Republic. Just that name alone is a reminder of where I come from, who I am, who my family is, and just home. So, you will be saying my name and you will be saying it correctly. That's really it. Growing up my mom was always very much like, 'Make sure they say it correctly because this is your name. This is how you introduce yourself to the world.' So, she's correct. You all can say Schwarzenegger. You all can say Yepassis-Zembrou. It's really not that difficult.

Thank you again, Glory! I look forward to meeting your Little Fan at the Ahmanson.

For tickets to the live performances of A CHRISTMAS CAROL through January 1, 2022; log onto www.CenterTheatreGroup.org


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