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Wicked Day- Katie Adams

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Micah Patt '17

Micah Patt '17

Micah Patt '17

Uma Mani ’20, Staff writer

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It’s not every day that one has the opportunity to work with an actress who starred on an incredibly popular Broadway show. But last week, Jay Jaski’s musical theater class got that very opportunity. Katie Adams, who starred as Galinda the good witch in the Broadway show “Wicked” comes to Peddie School every year to work with students and give them tips and coach them in performing and singing.

Adams grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh and started dancing at a young age. Once she was older, she participated in her local community theater, but began singing seriously once in college. Adams attended Boston Conservatory where she took voice lessons and pursued a career in musical theater.  Adams earned a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Boston Conservatory, and then began auditioning for professional plays and musicals.  She never doubted that her career in acting and musical theater would eventually lead her to Broadway; it was something she simply assumed would happen.  

Jaski met Adams through his wife and participated in a play together. “The biggest thing I took away from my Broadway experience was that the New York theater community is actually really small.  There are about 20 people in each production and about 30 plays going on at once.  That makes 600 people; that’s about how many people there are in Peddie School and by your senior year, you’ll know everybody, so I’ve gotten to know a good portion of the people in the New York theater industry,” Jaski said.

Adams advised the musical theater students to “find [their] type and [not] apologize for it.”  As someone who did not eat, sleep, or breathe musical theater growing up, Adams truly embodied this idea. Adams pushes for more freedom and interpretation in singing, acting, and getting into a role. In fact, one of her favorite roles other than Galinda was the result of an audition where she accidentally sang a song in a dramatic and sad way, completely unaware that it was intended to be comedic. As someone who performs professionally for a living, she emphasized the fact that criticism was valuable and the fear of failure was pointless.  Since mistakes are unavoidable, Adams said, it is important to be able to adapt to them quickly and in a believable way. Adams at once brought a different perspective to the musical theater students and taught them a lifelong lesson. “Don’t try to be something you’re not because who you really are is always better,” Adams said.

“Having her come here every year shows our students that making a living off of musical theater is realistic and feasible.  The perspective she brings and the advice she gives is just fantastic,” Jaski said.

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Wicked Day- Katie Adams