Broadway Baby

Monday April 21 2014

 

Since her freshman year at LC, Sierra Spicer ’14 has performed in 19 plays, with many of them as leads in musicals. That’s a lot of memorization and rehearsal time.

As graduation nears, she is paying tribute to Renaissance Theatre, the first Lynchburg theatre she performed in as Little Sally in Urinetown. Sierra is putting on “Broadway Baby,” a show of musical tunes performed solo and with friends as a benefit for Renaissance. The two-day show on April 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. will be held at the Renaissance Theatre at 1022 Commerce Street. The one-and-a-half-hour performance has a suggested donation of $10.

The show will include songs from Sweeney Todd, Little Shop of Horrors, and Ghost The Musical. She will be joined by LC students Halley Adcock ’16 and Nigel Word ’14 and will even perform one song with her mother.

Sierra is doing the show as her senior project as a special salute to Tom Nowell, who is retiring from the LC Theatre Department after 37 years. He and his wife, Pam, who started the Renaissance Theatre, have helped nurture Sierra through many of her Lynchburg performances.

At the top of her list, though, is Jeff Wittman, chair of LC’s Theatre Department, who she calls a father figure. “Mr. Wittman has been such an amazing mentor and supporter,” she said. When Sierra came to interview for LC’s first visual and performing arts scholarship, Wittman had already researched the theatres she had performed in her native Delaware. Sierra won the scholarship, along with several others, and will be debt-free at graduation.

“Sierra is personable, intelligent, and has found her own creative voice by taking advantage of her entire undergraduate career of courses and experiences,” Wittman said. “Moreover, her initiative, positive spirit, and service to others, on campus and in our Central Virginia region, complete a remarkable college career. It has been a pleasure to teach and direct her.”

A resident of the theatre house, Sierra says she tries to practice when no one is around. “If people aren’t in the house, I’m belting out at the top of my lungs,” she said.

Sierra has been acting since age 11 when she performed in Fiddler on the Roof and memorized every line of every character and knew exactly when they should come in.

Musicals are her passion. She has performed in Sonnets and Chocolates for Endstation Theatre, as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical for the Academy of Fine Arts; and in Bare: A Pop Opera for Wolfbane Productions, to name a few.

Sierra will be pursuing her MBA at LC. Her older sister Summer will join her in the MBA program. “This truly is my home now.” She hopes an MBA will help her own her own theatre company someday.