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Franklin Girl Hits the Big Stage (Again)

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Franklin Girl Hits the Big Stage (Again)

Amanda Wylie, Writer

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Katie Wylie, 11, already has a resume longer than most young adults. The Franklin local is a professional singer, actress, and dancer with numerous national tours and regional credits under her belt.

Katie is currently living in Connecticut while she performs as Amaryllis in the Goodspeed Opera House’s production of The Music Man. Her television debut will take place later this month as well. Read on to hear what Katie recently shared about her career.

Katie first discovered her love of performing at age 4 when she attended classes at Step by Step Studio of Dance. She went on to train in musical theater at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, performing in many local productions. Katie also attended Broadway Artist Alliance programs in New York City.

It was there, in July of 2016, that Katie got her “big break.” Jennifer Johns, the director of Broadway Artist Alliance, gave Katie the opportunity to audition for the Broadway National Tour of Annie, the classic story of the red-headed orphan dreaming of a better tomorrow.

Joan Marcus
Katie (first from left) performing Hard-Knock Life with the other orphans of the Annie National Tour.

“I was just auditioning for fun!” says Katie. “It was my first real audition so I wasn’t really expecting anything.”

Katie surprised even herself, as she sang and danced her way through multiple days of callbacks. But as auditions continued, the number of girls was narrowed from over 700, to just 21, all vying for one of the 7 orphan roles.

Katie commented, “I think that the least nervous I have ever been at an audition was at all of the ones for Annie. I didn’t realize how much of a big deal it was.”

When Katie found out that she had been offered the role of Duffy and the understudy of Molly, she was ecstatic. She smiles as she recalls running outside and dancing in the rain upon receipt of the news.

Haley Devalliere
Katie smiles in the wings during a performance of White Christmas. This was her favorite costume.

The Annie National Tour brought Katie to 42 different states and Canada over the course of 8 months and 182 performances. She loved exploring the new cities, getting to perform in beautiful theaters, and making lifelong friendships with some of the other orphans.

“After Annie ended, I was unemployed for 5 months!” Katie says with a laugh. “Then I was cast as Susan Waverly in White Christmas at the Ogunquit Playhouse!

White Christmas was Katie’s first regional production, helmed by the Ogunquit Playhouse but staged at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH. Katie fell in love with the rest of her cast, particularly the hilarious Sally Struthers. Even though the production only ran for a few weeks in December of 2017, it is one of Katie’s favorites to date.

“I loved my character Susan Waverly so much! I want to be Susan in real life!” says Katie.

Donna McEldowney
Katie taking the stage as Gretl in The Sound of Music.

In February of 2018, Katie was cast in the Broadway National Tour of The Sound of Music. This was actually her fourth time auditioning for the production, after three unsuccessful attempts in the previous year. Katie was initially chosen to be the Gretl/Marta Swing (the understudy for the two youngest VonTrapp children). Later into the 4 month run, Katie was promoted to full-time Gretl when the previous girl left.

Although she thought being a swing was a unique experience, Katie was overjoyed to be performing every night again. She cites Sound of Music as her favorite show that she’s ever been in.

Later that year, Katie took part in Hanover Theater’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. She played Fan, the little sister of Scrooge.

“That was my least favorite role because I had to play a diseased girl from the 1800s …” Katie said before trailing off.

Donna Dufault
Katie as Fan in Hanover Theater’s production of A Christmas Carol.

Now, Katie is in the middle of a 3 month run of The Music Man at the historic Goodspeed Opera House. Katie had to learn how to play the clarinet for the last scene of the production, which was definitely a challenge. You can go see Katie perform through June 20 by purchasing tickets here.

 

What’s next? Katie is scheduled to appear on season 2, episode 9 of Happy!, a show on the Syfy channel. The episode will air on Wednesday, May 21 at 10:00 PM.

Diane Sobolewski
Katie dancing during “76 Trombones,” one of the most beloved songs in The Music Man.

“I only have a few lines so it’s a small role but I had a great time filming it. It makes me want to do more on-camera stuff, but I still like musical theater better.”

Katie is so grateful for the success she has had up until now, but what people don’t see is all of the auditions that never came to fruition. Katie has been passed over for a number of her dream production, which can make her very sad.

“It’s my dream to play Little Anastasia in Anastasia … literally, I’ve actually had dreams about it.”

Katie’s biggest pet peeve when it comes to auditioning is self-tapes.

“Most of the time the casting people don’t even watch them which makes me sad because I put a lot of work in,” she grumbles.

However, Katie will continue working and auditioning until the next project hopefully comes around.

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Franklin Girl Hits the Big Stage (Again)