South Pacific Spotlight: Jessica Pouranfar makes her Summer Place debut as the exotic Liat
Born in Munich, Germany, raised in Louisville, KY and currently living in Naperville, Jessica Pouranfar is a music therapist and an Opera lover. To mark her return to the world of musical theatre, Jessica is making her debut with Summer Place Theatre in the very complex, exotic, and non-musical role of Liat. Her beautiful voice will be utilized in ensemble numbers when she doubles as a Navy nurse.
Jessica joins a talented cast and production team as Summer Place Theatre celebrates the 70th anniverary of this great American clasic that deals with issues of race and social justice that are as important today as they were in 1949.
South Pacific opens on June 7!
Get your tickets here
QUESTION: Who or what inspired you to start doing theater
JESSICA POURANFAR: It wasn’t just one thing that inspired me. Ever since I was a little girl I loved to sing and perform. I would take every opportunity I could to get up in front of people, use a mock microphone and bust out some MJ!
Q: What was the musical that had you fall in love with musicals
JP: I was involved with musicals in middle school but it wasn’t until my freshman year of high school I went to see a production of FAME and I just knew I had to be a part of something like that. After that I auditioned/enrolled in a performing arts high school where I majored in vocal performance and minored in musical theatre!
Q: What is the favorite role you've ever played?
JP: Saraghina in Nine- Gotta love the Italian accent and tambo dance break! Also Witch in Verdi’s Macbeth- I got to be witchy during Halloween season with my KY Opera “coven!”
Q: What is the dream role you still want to play?
JP: I honestly don’t have one! I just love being on stage and getting to perform!
Q: What is the most challenging part of bringing this story to life?
JP: This show has some serious themes including racism, sexism, ageism, love, infidelity, heartbreak and grief. It will be tricky navigating between these themes and the more comedic and light-hearted parts!
Q: If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would you want to play you?
JP: Gal Gadot (the most recent actress who played Wonder Woman) because she’s a BAB and I like to think we look alike!
Q: What do you do when you’re not doing theater?
JP: I am a Music Therapist working for Expressive Healthcare Solutions and Northwestern Medicine! I get to work in multiple facilities and populations, including the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), in-patient psychiatric care for adolescents and adults, mental health groups, adult patient floors, memory care and hospice! When I’m not working, I’m working out or Netflix and chillin’ with my dog.
Q: Which character from South Pacific would you most like to have dinner with and why?
JP: I’d love to dine with Emile but I prefer brunch! I envision myself drinking nice, French champagne with him, talking about travel, and asking him about his life in France!
Q: Why should people come see this production of South Pacific?
JP: It’s Rodgers and Hammerstein- that should be reason enough!
Come see Jessica and the rest of this incredibly talented cast when South Pacific opens on June 7.
Learn more about our production here Get your tickets here