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The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 


"Seeing the Marquee Go Up Was Unreal!"

The Ensemblist

Last week, the marquee for the Broadway-bound musical Mean Girls went up at the August Wilson Theatre. We wanted to hear from three actors making their Broadway debuts in the show what it was like to see the marquee for the first time.

Stephanie Bissonnette in front of the August Wilson Theatre

Stephanie Bissonnette in front of the August Wilson Theatre

"On Friday September 29, the rehearsal room was buzzing that the Marquee for Mean Girls was on display! As soon as we were dismissed for lunch I quickly scurried over to the August Wilson. As I rounded the corner of 52nd Street and I saw our new home covered in pink and my heart beat accelerated through the roof. 

There were so many times in my career where this moment felt so far away. Unattainable. Impossible even... a never ending line of ECCs with little hope of a door opening soon. However when I stood under my Broadway Debut marquee for the first time I realized it was all worth it. I felt grateful for every success AND struggle that led me to this show. Looking at the Mean Girls marquee made me finally realize that dreams can come true and hard work pays off. I'll never forget that day! I can't wait to dance on that stage every night."

-Stephanie Bissonnette

Riza Takahashi   in front of the August Wilson Theatre

Riza Takahashi in front of the August Wilson Theatre

"When I saw the marquee for the first time…oh gosh, lots of feelings. Any words aren’t going to be enough to describe how I felt seeing the theatre with the huge bright pink marquee knowing I’ll be making my Broadway debut in 2018. Just so surreal. 

While I was standing in front of the theatre, all I could think about was that I wanted to give a 16 year old Riza a pat on her back for deciding to leave Japan to pursue her dream even though it seemed impossible back then. When I left Japan 10 years ago, I had no idea how to communicate in English let alone do a musical in English. Fast forward to now, I'm standing in front of the Mean Girls marquee trying to process the fact I'll be performing on Broadway soon… I am just speechless. Life is crazy. In a real good way. I’m just so incredibly grateful for everything and everyone and I can’t wait to keep doing what I love!"

- Riza Takahashi

“Seeing the marquee go up was UNREAL! To me, this all still feels like a dream. At the present moment, I’m just focused on showing up to rehearsal every day, working hard, and producing the best work I know how to, but when I really think about it all, I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s still real. The marquee was a moment of 'Wow! This is really happening! This is REALITY!' I couldn’t be more astounded and grateful that this is all coming to fruition and that this is the show that I get to make my Broadway debut in!!!”

- Devon Hadsell

Cast members of  Mean Girls  in front of the August Wilson Theatre

Cast members of Mean Girls in front of the August Wilson Theatre