Junior Veronica Diaz never thought she’d find herself playing the lead role of a show put together by the Roxy Theatre Group, which she’s been involved with since she was 11.
A dancer since age 6, Diaz accidentally found out she could sing while she was helping with a voice class at the nonprofit performing arts center.
Now, Diaz is playing the lead role in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” a musical adapted from a film of the same name. The work, set in Manhattan near the 1920s, is the story of a young girl from Kansas who leaves her hometown to go follow her dreams.
Roxy Theatre Group’s production features a cast and orchestra comprised of 60 students, ages 13 to 22.
“I feel that Millie’s story is one that not just I, but all people, can really relate to; anyone that’s ever felt the need to go after their dreams. I am beyond excited to bring her to life and share the stage with an amazing cast and crew!” Diaz said in a press release.
Diaz mentioned she finds playing the lead role of Millie Dillmount quite challenging.
“It’s definitely a lot more difficult than what I’m used to,” she said. “I’m almost always on stage and I sing a lot more than usual. It’s definitely been a challenge but it’s been fun but I enjoy it, and I’ve grown as a performer. I like being something more extreme than myself, because I’m not usually like that.”
Diaz, a psychology major, is working on obtaining a minor in theater after she discovered her passion for it while working with the performing arts center.
Last semester, she took an acting class as part of her minor that she said helped her develop as an actress.
“I learned a lot and it definitely prepared me, and helped me do a part like this,” she said.
According to Charles Sothers, the theater arts director, this show contains several dance numbers that involve tap dancing.
“It’s the first tap heavy show that we’ve done,” he said. “That’s what we’re known for as a dancing studio, I’d say. This is kind of impressive because almost the entire cast is on stage at one point, tap dancing.”
He also commented on Diaz’s role.
“She does a great job with characterization, considering she’s a psych major,” he said.
If you go:
What: “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” by the Roxy Theatre Group
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: 1645 SW 107 Ave., Miami, Fla.
General admission tickets for the show cost $20. Student prices on Friday and Sunday are $10, and $15 on Saturdays. All proceeds collected will benefit the Roxy Theatre Group’s Student Scholarship Fund.
For more information, or for tickets, call 305-226-0030 or visit roxypac.com. You could also visit the theatre’s Facebook page at facebook.com/roxytheatregroup or Twitter at twitter.com/RoxyTheatreGrp.