Teal Wicks — playing Emma Carew in the Durham Performing Art Center’s Broadway-bound Jekyll & Hyde — took a moment to speak with Ron Stutts of 97.9FM WCHL. Jekyll & Hyde runs from January 8th through the 13th at DPAC, tickets/info can be found here.
So How did you get into entertainment? Why’d you decide to do it?
Well, from an early age I really loved theater. I grew up in Sacramento, California and my parents were big supporters of theater and really any live performance. Eventually they started taking me to ballet and I just fell in love with the stage — I wanted to be a performer. I dabbled in it while growing up: dance class, local theater productions, high school plays — just started singing a lot really. My parents noticed I could carry a tune so they were like, “Hey, OK, let’s let her do this.”
When did you ever consider doing it professionally?
I went to college at UC Irvine and studied drama there. Through my time there I figured out what it was all about. We had a great program, and even when to New York for a few weeks to take Masters classes — and I totally fell in love with New York.
Normally, we hear the same story from theater folks, that they were always performing in front of their family and friends since a very early age. Was that true with you?
Well, I was actually more on the shy side. But I was obsessed with Annie and I think what got me going was singing “Tomorrow” in front of people whenever I could. I think the first time was at Chuck E. Cheese’s actually [laughs].
So when/where was your big break?
I started as an understudy in San Francisco for Wicked — and made my Broadway debut in the same show last year. It was pretty amazing. I definitely had to stop myself and try to not get totally caught up in the fact that I was on a Broadway stage and had achieved one of my greatest dreams.
So let’s talk Jekyll & Hyde. How do you feel about the show itself?
It’s a really exciting show and has such a huge following. It’s fun to give it new life though too. We’re trying to bring it up-to-date to a contemporary audience and sort of assimilate it to more modern music and a better feel for what’s going on in the world right now. So it’s a little darker, a little sexier, a little grittier and a little more rock and roll.
It’s like a rock show. We’ve really tried to make it a really cool show.
Talk about your role.
Emma Carew is the fiance of Dr. Jekyll — she loves him very much. (There’s a lot of passion in the story in general.) He’s sort of an unlikely man for her, as she’s from the upper-crust of London socialite society. But she’s drawn to him because of the passion for his work he exudes.
Throughout the show he gets more and more into his work, which Emma doesn’t really understand even though she tries to reach out to him. The show essentially takes places between their engagement party and their wedding, which is such a monumentally important time for girls, and he’s not really around. So when you couple those intense emotions with the drama of Mr. Hyde being on the loose, you can see why the show is so enticing.
Jekyll & Hyde runs from January 8th through the 13th at DPAC, tickets/info can be found here.
You can follow The Durham Performing Arts Center on Twitter @DPAC.