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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. 

Blog

5 Debut Questions - Meet Kris Roberts

Mo Brady

Today on our blog, we welcome Beautiful: the Carole King Musical ensemblist Kris Roberts to Broadway. Learn about her journey to the Great White Way:

Kris Roberts

Kris Roberts

1. What's your name and hometown?

Kris Roberts, Richmond, Va. 

2. What is your role/track in your Broadway debut?

Female Swing. I cover all six female ensemble tracks in the show. 

3. How did you find out you had booked the part?

I had been on the Beautiful National Tour for only 9 weeks when my agent told me they were considering me for a Broadway replacement and asked that I make an audition video. After 2 and a half more months, waiting on pins and needles the whole time!, my agent sent a sly email on a Saturday morning that said "Let me know when you wake up. I want to have a quick call before you get to the theatre". When I picked up, I could hear his smile through the phone when he said "You're going to Broadway, baby!"

4. What's been the most surprising thing about preparing to perform the show?

Going into the Tour, the most surprising thing was that, as a replacement, I had most of my rehearsals by myself with either the Stage Manager or Dance Captain. Learning choreography and blocking while trying to imagine where everyone else is was tough! 

But this time around, my six months as Swing on Tour better prepared me for Broadway as I already knew the tracks, music, choreo, etc. What I didn't realize was how many differences there are between the Broadway production and the one on the road. The set is much more expansive, some of the numbers have switched choreography between the character tracks, entrances and exits are different, and there is additional blocking. It's almost as if I have to learn an entirely new 6 tracks while trying to forget about the 6 I already know! Luckily, I've honed my swing brain on Tour (my first time being a swing) so I hope I can pick up all the changes pretty easily. 

5. What are you looking forward to most about your experience on Broadway?

I'm looking forward to being a part of this small yet wonderful Broadway community! Supporting other shows, competing in Broadway Leagues, performing in concerts like Broadway in Bryant Park. It's always seemed like the coolest club and I'm excited to be a part of such an awesome institution and getting to do it at home in my favorite city where I can spend time with friends and loved ones. 

Kris Roberts

Kris Roberts

Listen to our podcast episode on Broadway Debuts here.