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New York, NY

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. 


When Broadway Called - Feat. Tootsie

Mo Brady

Today on our blog, we welcome two of the ensemblists from the new musical Tootsie to Broadway and learn about their journeys to the Great White Way.

Katerina Papacostas

Katerina Papacostas

Katerina Papacostas (Ensemble)

Hometown: Bedford, NY

“I found out the day after my 30th birthday!  To be honest, it came about a strange time.  I had just graduated from a coding bootcamp and was teaching software engineering online.  What was initially supposed to be just a new side hustle, was quickly becoming a passion.

“I’d been performing professionally for 10 years, had lots of tours and wonderful contracts, but was coming to terms with the idea that Broadway might not be in the cards, and programming was going to be my next big chapter. And for the first time in my life, that was exciting to me.  Sure enough, just as I’ve settled into my newly minted 30-something life plan, my agents call.  They started out with ‘We have some bad news,’ and despite my new found zen, my heart sank. They followed with You’re going to be very busy for the next year!’ I was speechless.  

“I have the feeling there are several ‘most exciting moments’ ahead over the next few months.  But as of right now, I’m most looking forward to our first day in the theatre.  Growing up seeing show after show, and even now as an adult always walking into Broadway houses as a patron, I think it will be quite surreal to walk in knowing the roles will be reversed and I’ll be the one up on that stage.”


Diana Vaden (Ensemble)

Hometown: Reno, NV

Diana Vaden

Diana Vaden

“It was opening night of The Sting at Paper Mill Playhouse and my agents from CESD met me at the stage door after the show. They acted super causal and normal, until they looked at each other and then back at me, and said, ‘We got an offer for you for Tootsie!’ ‘Wait, what?! Seriously?’ ‘Yeah, on Broadway, girl! We knew a couple days ago, but wanted to tell you in person!’ I almost started jumping for joy right then and there, but then I remembered my parents were at the show that night, so I had my agents tell them the news, too! It was pretty brilliant! The whole Vaden clan was jumping for joy. It was amazing to share that moment with my mom and dad, the ones who have supported this dream from day one.”

“I’m looking forward to working with the incredible cast I’m so blessed to be a part of. Each rehearsal will be a masterclass with talented artists who have such skill and experience I admire immensely. It’ll be like getting paid to go to grad school, 8 nights a week. I just want to soak it all in because I know I’m about to learn all the things!”