BWW Interview: Ethan Stokes of FINDING NEVERLAND at Overture Center
FINDING NEVERLAND, an endearing and timeless story, is packed with mesmerizing visuals, irresistible songs and plenty of laughs. FINDING NEVERLAND follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan - one of the most beloved stories of all time. The musical arrives in Madison January 8th to share with audiences the power of imagination... and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up.
Ethan Stokes, a thirteen year old from Manitowoc Wisconsin, plays not one, but three different roles in FINDING NEVERLAND. Stokes took time from his busy touring schedule to answer a few questions about his experience with the show.
I must know how a boy from a Manitowoc, Wisconsin happens to land a role in the national tour of a hit Broadway show.
My mom is a theater teacher, and directs a lot of shows, so I've been around theater my whole life. I've gone to Atlanta for four years to JTF (Junior Theater Festival) and three years to ITheatrics summer workshops. About two years ago I started submitting self tape video auditions through Actors Access. This is the first show I've gotten a callback for. I still live in Wisconsin, so for this show it was two flights out to NYC for callbacks before I got the part.
Was it scary to audition for such a big show?
During the first audition I was very nervous. It was my first professional audition with casting directors. The second callback was better, and I got more prepared and at the final callback I felt a lot more comfortable.
What is your favorite number in the show?
We're All Made of Stars. It's the one song that only the boys are on stage. We have a lot of fun, and I like singing as a group.
What's the most fun about being on tour?
I really like seeing the places we go to. Each of the cities, hotels and theaters are all unique and amazing in their own way. Sometimes we are only in a city for a few hours and don't get to see a lot, but other times we spend a whole week and can visit stores, restaurants, and even museums.
What's the hardest part of doing the show?
The hardest part is definitely keeping track of all three parts. I play Peter, George, and Jack. Sometimes I play all three different parts in three nights.
Do your parents travel with you? What are they doing while you're in the show?
My dad is traveling the whole tour with me, but my family has come to visit. He does get to see some shows, but he also has to do laundry, go grocery shopping, and packing suitcases for all the travel days.
Have you met any famous people doing the show?
What is a dream role you would love to play?
Right now, for a 13-year-old boy there is no other dream role than "Peter" in FINDING NEVERLAND. Maybe someday "Evan" in DEAR EVEN HANSEN.
Any advice for other kids who would like a life on the stage?
Chase your dreams and never stop believing.
Anything you'd like to say to the Madison audience?
I'm so excited to be coming back home to Wisconsin and I can't wait to see all my friends and family at Overture Center. Go Get'em Bucky!!!
FINDING NEVERLAND performances run from Tuesday, January 8th through Sunday, January 13th. Tickets are available at the Overture Center Ticket Office (201 State Street), by phone (608.258.4141) or online (overture.org).
Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel