Bradley performs in professional show

On Aug. 27, senior Ellie Bradley performed in ‘Yellow Brick Road to Broadway’ at the Scottish Rite Center in Wichita. The show, her third cabaret and fifth professional show, was a large-scale performance to start the school year.

“I was really excited because I took the summer off, for the most part, from theatre. Other than going to the International Thespian Conference, I was doing a lot of other stuff. It’s my first show getting back to performing. I got to see a lot of my old friends from Wichita which was really cool,” Bradley said.

This will be Bradley’s eleventh year in theatre, where she has developed many valuable friendships along the way. She met her director at her first professional show four years ago.

“She’s been in New York and came back and emailed me and was like, ‘I still have your resume, I still have your headshot, I still know what you sound like when you sing. Would you like to be in my cabaret?’ so I said I would love to,” Bradley said.

In her years of performing, Bradley has participated in high school theater, Newton Community Theater, Musical Theater for Young People (MTYP) and Musical Theater Wichita (MTW). As a professional actress, one needs to learn and adapt quickly, which can mean both rehearsing and performing in one day.

“I prepped my own songs, got my own sheet music and figured out how I wanted to perform my songs. I went in at 8:00 a.m. [the day of the show] and we had a personal lesson where we practiced with her for like an hour each and then practiced all together for two dress rehearsals that day and then performed at 7:00 p.m.,” Bradley said.

The two songs Bradley performed were ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ from Hairspray and ‘Random Black Girl’ from Out of Our Heads. Although many performers deal with nerves before going onstage, Bradley has overcome this challenge.

“When I was younger I definitely dealt with nerves. My mom has this story, the first time she ever dropped me off at rehearsal I was sobbing because I didn’t want to go in. But for the last five years I haven’t been getting nervous,” Bradley said. “Sometimes I think ‘Oh man this is big I need to do well,’ but it’s not like I’m afraid or even have butterflies. It’s just what I love to do and even if it doesn’t go well, I’ll have more times to do it. I know my own ability and things that I can’t do. I love performing.”

She plans to continue her theater studies at New York University where she will double major in musical theater and technical theater.

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