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BWW Interview: Tina Scariano Will Perform LAWN CHAIR CABARET Concert at Holmdel Theatre Company 9/19

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Live theater will return to Holmdel Theatre Company this month!

BWW Interview: Tina Scariano Will Perform LAWN CHAIR CABARET Concert at Holmdel Theatre Company 9/19

Holmdel Theatre Company will open its doors again for the first time since the pandemic with a new, socially-distanced outdoor concert. It is called the "Lawn Chair Cabaret" and will be headlined by Tina Scariano on September 19. Tina is an NYC based actor, musician, producer, and makeup artist. She currently serves as the managing director for the off-broadway theatre company Out of the Box Theatrics. She has traveled the world performing on cruise ships, regional theaters, and as lead singer in the modern day folk trio "A Band Called Honalee." Tina graduated from Otterbein University with a degree in musical theatre and resides in New York City with her collection of red wines.

Broadwayworld.com had the opportunity to interview Tina Scariano before her concert.

Tell us about how you got your start as a performer.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a stand-up comedian. I would tell terrible jokes. Then, I discovered theater and realized I could do it for a living and went to school in Ohio to study it. I wanted to be a part of the theater community and have performed on cruise ships and in regional theater. I quit the business for a little while then came back to New York because I realized it was what I wanted to do.

Who are some of the people who have inspired your career?

There is one person who I have always looked up to and it's my mom. She is the most independent, beautiful, strong, open-minded woman I know. So she is definitely the number one person I look up to. As far as the business, I have always admired and have been inspired by folk music. My earliest memory of music was singing Peter, Paul, and Mary's "If I Had A Hammer" with my dad on the karaoke machine in the basement. I am actually part of a folk trio inspired by Peter, Paul, and Mary and I'm the "Mary" of the group. I love the women of folk music - Carly Simon, Carole King, Joni Mitchell. Their voices and their songs are really inspirational. I've always tried to copy them with my music style. Judy Garland as well, and other iconic ladies in music.

Do you have any dream roles that you would like to play?

My dream role would be to originate a role, but if I had to pick some shows that were already out there my dream roles would be Alice in Bright Star or Cathy in The Last Five Years.

Part of your career has included performing on Disney Cruise Line. What is like to both live and work at sea?

I have worked on three out of their four ships in the fleet - I was on the Magic, Fantasy, and most recently on the Wonder. It is so much fun, you basically get paid to travel the world. It's such a great job. It is definitely a culture shock because you're away from your family in a floating hotel six to nine months at a time. Working for Disney is an absolute dream. They take such good care of us. We got to live the "Disney magic" every single day. You put in a lot of hours, but the payoff is wonderful and I've met some of my very best friends on those ships.

On the Disney Wonder, I was part of the third cast of Frozen The Musical. Before it went to Broadway, they workshopped it on the ship. I understudied Elsa so that was really fun. I got to go on a couple of times. We also did Golden Mickeys where I played the stage manager Ensign Benson, then we did Disney Dreams, one of the original shows. I have also played Mary Poppins in the show Believe, The Little Mermaid, and the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio.

The pandemic has caused theaters across the country - and the world - to stop live performances for an unknown amount of time. How have you been able to keep yourself busy while theaters are dark?

At the beginning of the pandemic, the isolation sort of bred creativity. I started writing these "Quarantunes" and I would take a song and create a parody out of it based on isolation, being in quarantine, or wearing a mask. It kind of got a little following and that's what drew Colleen [Executive Director at Holmdel Theatre Company] to ask me to do my own show. I am also the Managing Director for an Off-Broadway company and we've managed to do a lot of virtual readings, put up some performances, and paid some actors. We did a production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown this summer and I played Snoopy, so it's actually been quite a busy time given the circumstances. The one thing about artists in this shutdown is that they are very creative people and they are coming up with ways to make stuff and make art. People are still finding ways to create and entertain and it's really inspiring.

Aside from being a performer, you are also a producer and makeup artist. Tell us a little about these elements of your career.

I am what the kids call a "multi-hyphenate." I am a makeup artist, and have fortunately been able to go back to work in the last couple of months since Phase 2 opened up. It's been great. I've done a couple of makeup jobs. As a producer, I was an Associate Producer on the Off-Broadway run of Baby at Out of the Box Theatrics last December. I've been a producer on a web series and that's sort of a newer endeavor but a fun one that I've really enjoyed. Out of the Box is the reason that I've been able to do all of the fun things that I get to do. We were able to mount a full-equity approved production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown all on an online platform and we were able to pay our actors an Equity wage with health and pension and that was really exciting for us. We've started some new programming all online with new works and new playwrights that have new shows they want to work on. So we're figuring it out as we go. Our leader Liz Flemming is the one who made sure everything can happen.

You will be headlining the first ever "Lawn Chair Cabaret" event at Holmdel Theatre Company. What can audience members expect from this event?

I think it's going to be a really fun, relaxing, easy-going performance. The songs that I'm picking reflect a lot of the artists I've mentioned earlier: Carly Simon, James Taylor, Carole King, and a lot of covers and some new stuff. My goal is to sing some songs that people know and don't know and to keep it light and fun. I'm imagining the most beautiful night, I'm hoping it doesn't rain. My dream would be for people to start singing along to choruses and we're all sort of jamming out together.

A lot of artists have been affected by the pandemic, and this event has definitely given both artists and audience members hope for live music again and an eventual comeback of the industry. How do you think live performance will change in the future?

Like I mentioned earlier, the people who are in the arts are super creative so they've already been figuring out ways to make art. I don't think theater is going anywhere, but I do think it is going to change. I think the first step is to do something like this [The Lawn Chair Cabaret] where we're outside, socially-distanced, but we can create in a large space. The next step is figuring out how to get people in a space when it's cold outside. There have been some theater companies around the New York area that have been able to put on shows. It's not quite the same, their audience members are six feet apart, they get their temperature taken when they enter the theatre, the actors don't touch and are six feet apart onstage, but I think that it is possible. The digital/online streaming will be around for a while and that is our best bet. I think that this could be a good thing for the theater industry.

To keep up with Tina, you can follow her on Twitter at @TScariano, Instagram at @teenziano and @tscarianomakeup, or visit her website at www.tinascariano.com

Tina Scariano's "Lawn Chair Cabaret" concert is SOLD OUT, but you can find out more about this event and Holmdel Theatre Company's other upcoming events by calling 732-946-0427 or visiting their website at https://www.holmdeltheatrecompany.org/tinascariano. The show will be performed outside of the Duncan Smith Theater on September 19. The theatre is located at 36 Crawfords Corner Road in Holmdel, NJ. For more information on Holmdel Theatre Company, you can follow them on Twitter @RealHTC, Instagram @holmdeltheatrecompany, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/holmdeltheatrecompany/.

Photo Credit: Charles Chessler



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