Meet the Cast of FOLLIES – Joyanne Rudiak is Stella Deems!

joyanneWhat is your role in this production? I play Stella Deems, one of the former Weisman girls. She’s really excited to be back for the reunion and relive the best times of her life.

What is your background in theatre? At Walterdale? I graduated with a BA (Hons.) Degree in Drama from the U of A and also have my ARCT Diploma in Speech Arts and Drama from the Royal Conservatory of Music. I’ve performed mostly musical theatre in Edmonton and Ottawa, but this is my first time performing at the Walterdale.

What brought you out for this production? I just moved back from Ottawa in September and have been itching to get reacquainted with the theatre community in Edmonton. The timing with Follies just worked out perfectly with work. Plus, it’s Sondheim.

This show is about theatre and nostalgia – got any good theatre stories? One of my best theatre stories is from the first show I ever did: Oliver! at Festival Place when I was 14. I missed the auditions but when my mom called, the lady told me to come to callbacks (I didn’t know what that meant at that time). I walked into the room with all the other children and youth, and was then told, “Alright, so everyone who’s here is in the show.” I was so confused. We did some group singing and dancing, I gave my info to the director and just like that I was part of Fagan’s Gang! Easiest audition process, ever!

What has been the most challenging part of doing the show? The most challenging part of the show is my feature song, which also happens to be a huge dance number. I’ve got to sing a solo line while everyone else is singing something else and dance while doing it!

What has been the best thing about doing the show? It’s been great getting back into the musical theatre community in Edmonton. I definitely missed it while I was away and am glad I’m back and working with a bunch of wonderfully talented performers and production personnel!

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