The lights are dimmed, the camera is set and the actors are ready for action. Adrienne Collins, a Missouri Western student, is ready behind the stage, as she is about to take on the role of Johanna in Western’s rendition of Sweeney Todd.
Adrienne says she has worked with director Tee Quillin in the past, and she feels that she works hard, fits the character and that her voice fits the songs that Johanna sings.
Johanna is a 16-year-old girl who has had a very sheltered and extravagent up bringing. She’s never really been able to leave home unaccompanied. She has a longing for freedom and she is itching to get out in the world and spread her wings, which really appeals to Adrienne because she says she’s kind of sensing that in her life right now, being a junior in college and wanting to go explore the world on her own.
Adrienne auditioned for Sweeney Todd back in December and the call backs were that same week.
“Basically, I went in and sang Green Finch and Linnet Bird. It’s Johanna’s main song and that’s all they wanted to hear,” Collins said. “I already knew the piece beforehand and had studied the character. It was very smooth. It wasn’t anything daunting or intimidating or anything like that.”
Adrienne says she loves Johanna’s music. She loves who that character is because their lives are kind of playing out in the same way right now.
“At the age 15, 16, or 17 years old, people were married or being courted and seriously persuing marriage, so the fact that Johanna never has had any kind of love interest, I think it has greatly affected her longing of just wanting to get out and be her own person,” Collins said.
When we first meet Johanna, Collins says she seems like a sweet modest woman until she meets a guy name Anythony. Collins said Johanna kind of turns into a Barbie doll or something and falls in love instantly and wants to run away with this man.
“She just has completely lost her mind,” Collins said. “Johanna is kind of ditsy and ends up at the mad house, so that definatley contributes to it.”
Even though Johanna is a supporting role, Adrienne doesn’t have a ton of lines. The hard part of her role comes with the singing, but it is a challenge she is excited to take on.
“I think the most difficult part was learning the music because the type of songs she sings are tricky.”