COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb University's Sarah Zanotti

By: Nov. 01, 2015
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If Lipscomb University musical theatre student Sarah Zanotti, a senior from Cleveland, Ohio, seems busier than normal this week, it should be understandable: Not only is she hurtling toward the end of semester with the rest of the students on the school's gorgeous Green Hills campus, but she's also starring in the fall musical Into the Woods.

Her Into the Words performance has already earned her at least one rave review (from yours truly): "If you need something to prod you toward making reservations to see the Lipscomb University's staging of the near-legendary Into the Woods - although we find it hard to believe anyone could not want to hear that wondrous score once more - we are happy to give you that prompt: Sarah Zanotti's performance as The Baker's Wife is extraordinarily evocative and deeply moving, to be certain. But it is her lovely, expressive voice that sets her performance apart from others we've seen - and which proves that no matter how well you know a character or how impressed you have found other portrayals to be, there is still much drama and theatricality to be mined from The Baker's Wife... And with the exquisite performance of Zanotti as the Baker's Wife to lead the ensemble, which features some truly wonderful young actors, it is well worth the price of admission."

So spectacular is her performance in the musical that we wouldn't mind seeing it again - and that says a lot! However, the upcoming calendar of Nashville theater is jam-packed with new openings so we probably won't be able to get back for another performance of the Sondheim masterpiece, but you should certainly make plans to attend.

Sarah Zanotti in Seussical the Musical

The next performance is Thursday, so until then...get to know Sarah Zanotti in this week's edition of COLLEGIATE THEATRICS:

So, how's your college theater career going? Has it lived up to its advance hype? My college theater career has been a crazy, scary, fun, unforgettable blast! I have studied in London, New York, been in main stage shows, crunched for finals, used a power saw, laughed, cried, and made some great friends. I don't know if I believe in the college hype the experience is what you make it! I have decided to invest in myself, others, and art. College has been a wild ride full of success and failure but I have learned from the good and bad and have chosen to find the joy in each moment.

What's your favorite part of studying at your school? My favorite parts of studying at Lipscomb Theatre Department (LDoT) are the constant and vast opportunities. There is always a scene, solo, show, or set to build. I have never been bored my time here on campus. There is always something I can dive in and work on whether that is a main stage production, helping a friend's directing scene, or sewing a costume piece. My education is hands-on, practical theatre experiences. Getting in the action and doing!

Have your future plans changed since your college experiences? My plans in the future have changed a lot from freshman to my senior year. I began my college career as a theatre education major at a different university. After one semester I knew I did not want to focus on education at the moment and wanted to study musical theatre as intensely as I could. This led me to LDoT, where I switched to a musical theatre major and now hope and plan to be working professionally as an artist. I am sure my plans will change even more once I graduate. Despite the uncertainty in the future one thing has remained constant and that is my passion and love for theatre.

What collegiate theatrical moment looms largest in your mind? There have been so many theatrical moments here at LDoT that have impacted me and live in my mind. There are some 3 a.m. strikes you will never forget! One of the largest moments was performing the song "Little Priest" from Sweeney Todd, for our Musical Theatre Workshop class. I played Mrs. Lovett and I was horrified. I was a recent transfer student, not old enough to play the part, and was outside my comfort zone. My scene partner and I both were frightened but we knew we had to take the risk and trust each other. The workshop day came. Our teacher pushed us and by the end of class I had flour all over my face and hair, pies were smashed, crumbs were everywhere, and the scene was alive. Getting out of my comfort zone, taking a risk, and trusting my scene partner pushed me to a new level and created an amazing piece.

What advice would you offer to high school students considering making the plunge? My advice for high school students looking into collegiate theatre is to find a school with faculty and students who you want to have relationships with. You are about to go on a crazy journey and need to surround yourself with a team that respects you as a person and wants you to be the best person you can be! The faculty and students at Lipscomb mean so much to me and care for me. I feel free to try new things and takes risks here and that is a key to learning yourself and art. Find people you care for, want to work hard with, and want to grab coffee with because that is what you will be doing for the next four years in college theatre.