BWW Interview: Artist Spotlight - Easton Edwards
UCO Musical Theatre graduate Easton Edwards starred in two of last season's hottest productions. UCO and CityRep's collaboration of Hair and Lyric's Summer at the Civic's Newsies. Edwards caught up with Broadway World in an exclusive interview, highlighting some of his best moments as an actor and what he's looking forward to in the future. The pandemic has things on hold, but for now he's continuing to plan for upcoming career moves. Read below and learn all about a new favorite in the OKC Theatre community:
BWW: Tell us about you! What got you interested in theatre and being an actor?
EE: I was born in Tulsa. I moved to Corinth, Texas when I was too young to remember, and then moved to Edmond when I was 6 years old. I was a competitive gymnast at Oklahoma Gold Gymnastics for about 8 years, but quit when I was in middle school. I had done a few church productions when I was a little kid but never performed until I was a freshman in high school. My high school, Edmond Memorial High School, was doing South Pacific, and they were in need of guys. My sister's best friend convinced me to audition, and so I signed up for an audition. I went to the audition and the director asked me if I really could walk on my hands. So I went into a handstand and walked around the audition room back to my seat. I fell in love with performing and continued to perform throughout my years at Memorial.
It wasn't until the summer after my sophomore year of high school that I wanted to pursue performing as a career. My school took a trip to NYC that year and the first Broadway show we saw was Newsies. That production changed my life. I saw guys who could tumble like I could and I decided then and there that I wanted to pursue performing as a career. So I started auditioning for college programs my senior year of high school and got accepted into UCO's Musical Theatre program. Since being in the program, I have been fortunate enough to have worked on several productions with UCO and with other professional theatres across the state.
BWW: What is your favorite role that you've done so far and why? What is your dream role?
EE: One of my favorite roles I've done so far was Woof in UCO/CityRep's co-production of Hair. That role will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first role I was cast in at this school and I am so lucky to have been cast alongside such talented performers who put their blood, sweat, and tears into that production. But the show that will forever be my favorite production to be a part of is Newsies at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Newsies was the show that made me want to pursue performing as a career. So it was such a full circle moment to perform this dream show at the Civic Center and get to work with such professional and talented artists! Definitely a highlight in my career. A dream role for me would be to play Robert in The Drowsy Chaperone.
BWW: Why did you choose UCO for your music theatre education?
EE: I chose UCO because I knew that I would get fantastic training from people who work within the business. Many of the faculty at UCO are active performers as well, so it was refreshing knowing that my training would be from professionals who knew the business well and have the training and qualifications to create professional performers in the business. I also came into college with no dance background outside of high school show choir, so a big factor for me was finding a school that would allow me to learn proper technique in all forms of dance. The Musical Theatre department has a great relationship with the School of Dance, and the dance faculty will offer classes for musical theatre students to take and eventually offer dance major classes to musical theatre students as they progress through their dance training.
BWW: What are your post-graduation plans? How have your plans changed because of the pandemic?
EE: Like most performers, I planned to audition in the spring for regional theatre companies and cruise lines across the country in hopes of booking some summer work, saving up my money, and then moving to New York in August 2020. Obviously, the pandemic threw a giant curve ball in my post-graduation plans. I now plan to stay in Oklahoma for another year. Hopefully by then, things will have calmed down and I can move up to NYC in May next year!
Follow Easton on Instagram @east_edwards.
For more information on UCO's College of Fine Arts degrees and productions schedules, visit uco.edu.