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New York, NY
USA

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

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

Q&A: Donna Marie Asbury

Nikka Lanzarone

Connect with Donna Marie

playbillvault

Donna Marie's Episode: Long Running Shows (#17)

Where are you from? West Paterson, NJ(which is now called Woodland Park)

Broadway credits: Gypsy (starring Angela Lansbury), Merrily We Roll Along, Smile, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Chicago!!!!

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? My manager called my mom! I was eleven. I remember getting my first paycheck, and saying to my mom'You get paid for this"?!!! It was just such an amazing experience! I still can do the choreography! Angela Lansbury was such a sweet, generous, leader of our company. I learned a lot just from watching her, even at age eleven.

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? It used to be BROADWAY ON BROADWAY!!!! You just felt like a rock star! Plus anytime everyone gets to see each other, it’s a blast!

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? The love and passion of our community! Being in Chicago, and having so many people come in and out of the show, that have never done theatre before, it’s the one thing they always say…and also how hard we work!!!

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? My daughter! Jacqueline is seventeen and looking at colleges, and has such a self confidence and  self awareness that I’m not sure I have NOW!!!! I can’t wait to see what her journey is like.

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be… My husband Cleve. He’s my favorite person, and makes me happy, AND makes me laugh! VERY important. if I could though, I would also invite Julia Roberts!

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose…Oprah, Oprah, Oprah! The first thing I would do is yell at her for stopping her talk show! Then I would just ask her to tell me stories. I just think she’s an amazing woman.

To be successful in this business, it takes… passion! Whenever I speak to anyone who is thinking of doing this for a living, I always ask them if they are so passionate about it, they can see themselves do nothing else. If their answer is yes, then go out there and study, and audition for anything and everything! If they’re unsure, then go find whatever it is they ARE passionate about.

Tell us a secret. I almost didn’t audition for Chicago, because I didn’t think I was a strong enough dancer. My agent and my husband at the time made me!  I am forever grateful for this show!