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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. 


Q&As with Aladdin Tour Ensemblists - Olivia Donalson

Mo Brady

by Marialena Rago

Olivia Donalson

Olivia Donalson

Olivia is taking a stab at her first national tour in Disney’s Aladdin! We talk to her about her favorite touring moments and what she does before a show.

Where are you from?

Jacksonville, FL

What made you want to be a performer?

I grew up in a very musical family and was quite the outgoing (talkative) child, so my mother involved me in arts of all kinds and I fell in love.

How do you prepare for your shows?

I love to socialize, so I’ve dubbed myself the dressing room DJ! I could probably spend more minutes on hair and make-up, but I enjoy picking the tunes and setting an upbeat tone for us gals before the show.

According to your Broadway credit page, this is your first national tour! How is it going and is it any different than you imagined?

This is a dream come true, an unbelievable contract that I’m sure has spoiled me for future tours. 100% better than I expected, I had imagined cramped busses, no sleep, and sandwiches only. Instead, we are so taken care of, which allows the work on stage to feel light and exciting.

What do you love about this ensemble and being a part of ensembles in general?

So far, we get along very well. It’s been a little over a year, and I am still genuinely happy to hang and perform with every one of these folks. The ladies especially have created a bond that has made each part of this contract an amazing time. This tour family is one I’m proud to be a part of!

Favorite touring moment so far?

The rehearsal process was my favorite. We were at our first stop, Chicago, preparing for a fairly long run there, and seeing the incredible talent from the cast, crew, and creative was the most inspiring and energizing time. Meeting all the folks that would soon become family, I’ll never forget it.

Favorite touring city and why?

SEATTLE! We arrived in time for autumn, and the leaves belonged in a painting and the restaurants had the best oysters I’ve ever encountered and the dressing rooms were upstairs with balconies, and every moment felt like a scene from a romantic music video. I cannot wait to go back!

What is one thing you wish audience members knew about being part of the ensemble?

Luckily, a lot of the families I talk to after a performance recognize how involved it is for an ensemble member. In our show, so much of the magic happens when we’re all on stage, so I’m glad to be a part of something that really highlights us as a group and showcases our talents and passion!