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Exclusive: Margo Seibert talks starring in new musical 'Rocky'

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Today on March 28, Examiner.com had the opportunity to interview actress Margo Seibert who plays Adrian in the new musical "Rocky" on Broadway. The musical has received strong reviews and is a magical experience.

How did you prepare for your role and were there any particular challenges in terms of character or technique?

In order to find my way into Adrian, I spent time reading Italian-American memoirs, researching Philly in the mid-70s, journaling, sneaking into pet stores, you know, the regular! I also met with a coach and explored the script in and out, especially the lyrics. This way I could be sure I was always supporting the story, in story, in song, in physicality, in everything!

"Rocky" is an iconic film ingrained in American pop culture. Did this have any impact on how you played or prepared for the role? How was your approach and/or the approach of the creative team in general to the material shaped by the film’s status?

Yes, I knew the film was and still is incredibly iconic, but I had only seen clips of it when I went in for my first audition. And even then, I chose not to watch the film until I was about 5 callbacks into the audition process. (Out of 9 auditions all together.) Because the movie is so well known, I didn't want to copy Talia Shire's performance. She is extraordinary in the film, so simple and beautiful. I wanted to create my own Adrian, using as much of myself as I could. Now after seeing the movie many times, I can see how our performances compliment each other!

Rocky is a technically complex show. Did the complexity present any specific acting challenges?

Most of my/Adrian's world exists on these small, intricate sets; the Petshop, Rocky's apartment, Paulie's apartment. I don't do much interacting with the tech heavy parts of the show. It keeps things pretty simple for me and overall creates a balance of intimacy to spectacle.

How does working in a multi-million dollar Broadway show compare to working Off-Broadway or in regional theatre?

Well, before this, I was working Off-Broadway in a show, "Tamar of the River" with Prospect Theatre Company. We had no sets, we all wore a version of the same costume, and the only props were wooden poles and pieces of fabric. So, as you can imagine, ROCKY is a completely different world! The crazy thing is, these scenes with Andy Karl feel just as intimate as being in a 99-seat house. It's a testament to Alex Timbers's vision that this big broadway show allows the audience in so closely.

Have you had a mentor whose example inspired you to pursue a career in acting?

When I lived in DC, (actress) Holly Twyford and (director) Aaron Posner were integral in my decision to continue to pursue this career. We were all working on Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia" at the Folger Theatre. Working on a that play shifted something for me. Previously my focus had been about the excitement of getting the next gig (which is still quite important). But Arcadia revealed the importance of truthful storytelling and that I had the ability to give this to the audience. Holly and Aaron were generous with their time and talent and inspired me to find the truth in everything.

Was there any particular emphasis or technique in your education or training that has shaped your approach to theatre?

Peter Marks of the Washington Post put it well when he described my "training" as apprenticeships. I have yet to formally train in acting although I've taken voice lessons since I was 13. So, my technique has always been to watch the actors I find inspiring and ask them how they do what they do. And then try it for myself!

Theatre and film acting are fundamentally different experiences. In addition to your extensive theatre work, you’ve appeared in an episode of "Boardwalk Empire." Do you have any desire to pursue film/television acting in your career?

Absolutely! It was a blast on "Boardwalk Empire" and I am excited to explore more film/tv work. I'm intrigued by the intimacy of the camera.

Now that you’ve made your Broadway debut, what do you think is next for you?

That's a great question. I'm living the dream right now, on this show, bringing Adrian to life night after night. I'm loving the present and look forward to the next challenge...whatever that may be!

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