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Meet Our Nellie!
Steve Koek
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Meet Our Nellie!

South Pacific Spotlight: Pamela Hart as Nellie Forbush

Pamela Hart is taking the stage at Summer Place Theatre for the first time with the lead role of Ensign Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, joining a long list of actresses to have played the character, including Mary Martin, Cloris Leachman, Florence Henderson, Reba McEntire, Mary Martin, and Glenn Close . A kindergarten teacher and theater veteran, Pamela shared her thoughts on musical theater, being in this production, and how if feels to play such an iconic role.

South Pacific opens on June 7.

Get your tickets here

QUESTION: Who or what inspired you to start doing theater?
PAMELA HART: As long as I can remember I've been performing in some way. Whether that was dancing and singing alone in my bedroom (which I still do!) or performing dances that my friends and I choreographed for our very patient families. But my first memory of a theater production was seeing my cousin in a show she was a part of at her high school. I remember thinking how fun and exciting it would be to sing, dance and tell a story on stage for an audience. Every since then, I was hooked! And every time I go see a show, I'm inspired and re-energized all over again.

Q: What was the musical that had you fall in love with musicals?
PH: That's a hard one. I feel like my favorite musicals change daily!

Q: What is the favorite role you've ever played?
PH: I can't choose between Kate Monster in Avenue Q and Elizabeth Benning in Young Frankenstein.

Q: What is the dream role you still want to play?
PH: Again, I can't choose! Jenna in Waitress (maybe one day!) and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors

Q: What is the most challenging part of bringing this story to life?
PH: Making sure we address the serious themes present in the show but also showcase some of the lighter more fun moments. This show is funnier than you'd think!

Q: Do you have any performance superstitions?
PH: I sing through all my songs in the shower when I'm getting ready to head to the theater.

Q: If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would you want to play you?
PH: Ilana Glazer from Broad City. We have the same hair and she is hilarious!

Q: What do you do when you’re not doing theater?
PH: When I'm not doing theater, I teach Kindergarten. I also love cuddling with my cats while watching Netflix or Hulu.

Q: Which character from South Pacific would most like to have dinner with and why?
PH: I think I'd want to have dinner with Bloody Mary. She is a hoot and I'd love to learn more about her background. And she is a woman who is not afraid to stick up for herself and her family.

Q: Why should people come see this production of South Pacific?
PH: South Pacific is celebrating 70 years but it presents important themes and topics that we are still struggling with in 2019. Aside from the serious topics, there are some really funny parts that everyone will enjoy! The cast and production staff are so talented and dedicated and that shows through already. We are having so much fun and we hope you will come and share this story with us.

Q: How does it feel to be playing such a popular and iconic role like Nellie Forbush?
PH: I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to play Nellie when the show is celebrating its 70th anniversary! In some ways, playing Nellie is easy because we do have some similar traits. We're both kind of goofy, we like to talk and we can be naive at times. We're both romantics at heart and want the "happy ending," in our lives. That being said, portraying Nellie is also challenging. We don't share all the same beliefs, especially in the beginning of the show. Nellie is confronted with some ugly truths about herself and her upbringing and she doesn't even fully understand them. She has difficult choices to make and is torn between what her heart thinks is right and what she has grown up believing is right. I'm excited (and nervous!) to play such an iconic role and find many ways to connect with Nellie, even if when don't share the some ideas and beliefs.

Come see Pamela and the rest of this talented cast when South Pacific opens on June 7.

Learn more about our production here   Get your tickets here

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