Meet Marie Groh
Mamma Mia! Spotlight
What do Marie Groh and Meryl Streep have in common? They're both Donna, the leader of the Dynamos, in Mamma Mia! Our Donna holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theatre from Millikin University, teaches voice lessons, directs musicals, and has performed in and around the Chicago area for 20 years.
At Millikin, Marie played such roles as Carlotta in Phantom, Sara Jane Moore in Assassins, The Witch in Humberdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, and Beatrice in A View from the Bridge. She has performed extensively with many theaters locally and regionally including Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Theatre at the Center, Light Opera Works, Porchlight Music Theatre, Steel Beam Theatre, Vero Voce, and two consecutive seasons with Music Theatre of Wichita in Wichita, Kansas. Some of her favorite performance credits include Maria in West Side Story at Drury Lane Oakbrook; Aldonza in Man of LaMancha, Anna Held in Tintypes, and Sara Stone in No Way to Treat A Lady at Light Opera Works; Claudia in Nine with Porchlight Music Theatre (Jeff Recommended); Svetlana in Chess at Steel Beam Theatre; Woman 3 in Midlife: The Crisis Musical and Miss Todd in Menotti’s Old Maid and the Theif at Vero Voce. Aside from her musical theatre performing, Marie also spent a year singing with the Big Band, Swing Assembly and has been singing with The Festive Singers as a Dicken’s Caroler for the past 16 seasons. Marie is grateful for every “role” she has played in her life, (especially Mom to her two amazing daughters), as each has taught her something and helped shaped her into the performer she is today.
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We asked Marie a few questions about herself.
Q: Who or what inspired you to start doing theater?
A: The need to have an emotional outlet as a young child and the incredible teachers I was blessed to have that fed that love of music and theater.
Q: What was the musical that had you fall in love with musicals?
A: Miss Saigon or West Side Story
Q: What is the favorite role you've ever played?
A: All of them.
Q: What is the dream role you still want to play?
A: Bella in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers.
Q: Most challenging part of bringing this story to life?
A: The story doesn't feel too difficult to bring to life, but having the energy and vocal stamina to bring that story to life each performance is definitely quite a challenge!
Q: If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would you want to play you?
A: My daughter Savannah.
Q: What do you do when you’re not doing theater?
A: Spending time with my kids or working on bettering my home.
Q: If you were stranded on an island, which character from Mamma Mia would you want to have with you and why?
A: Sophie, because I couldn't live without my children!
Q: Why should people come see this production of Mamma Mia?
A: I have been so impressed with how quickly and easily this cast pulls a production number together, whether they are learning music or choreography. They do it with such grace, enthusiasm, joy and love. They just make you smile and feel hopeful and that makes me want to come to rehearsal each time. If I can feel that watching everyone in this show, I am sure our audience will also pick up on it.