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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. 


Connect with each of our guests as they tackle The Ensemblist's Q&A!

Q&A: Alysha Umphress

Nikka Lanzarone

Connect with Alysha


Alysha's Episode: Live at Birdland, Parts 1&2 (#26 and #27)

Where are you from? San Francisco, CA

Broadway credits: American Idiot, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Bring It On and On The Town (upcoming)

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? Tom Hulce (lead producer on American Idiot and also a genius actor..Amadeus..duh) called me on Christmas Eve during the afternoon when I happened to be watching Parenthood (the movie not the tv show) at my mom’s house. This was cool for a couple of reasons: A. Tom Hulce was in that movie so while I was talking to him I was watching him (nice to have a reference) B. I found out I was going to be on Broadway! T'WAS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? The gypsy run! It’s the first performance in front of an audience AND it’s usually filled with people that love you and want you and the show to do well. Also Broadway Barks. I LOVE DOGS. 

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? The history that each theatre has. I grew up listening to The Secret Garden (for instance) I knew every word of that show by heart after playing the cast album over and over. Then, there I was doing American Idiot on the St. James stage 8 shows a week right where Daisy Egan found it…..she found the key to the garden. 

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? Lake Street Dive, The Punch Brothers and Alice Smith are basically on repeat on my iphone. They all inspire me to want to try to attempt to write some music of m'own.

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be… Amy Sedaris? I know she lives in the village so it wouldn’t be a long commute and I like the village anyway and maybe we could also do some sort of craft project while we drink coffee. She has a whole book about craft making.

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose… Someone with a pool in New York City. Could I trade today? It’s SO HOT OUTSIDE. Actually, the day is almost over and tomorrow is the 4th of July and I’d like to make the most of the day. Someone who owns a pool in NYC on the fourth of July. Final answer. 

To be successful in this business, it takes… Perseverance, thick skin, luck….and sometimes talent. 

Tell us a secret.EH EH.