Ashton Siewert will be portraying Mother in our upcoming production of Ragtime. We asked Ashton, a longtime Middleton Players Theatre participant, to share a little more about herself, such as why this show is important to her, what she loves about the rehearsal process, and what musical made an impression on her.
Are you a Madison native?
Yes and no. I was born in Florida and spent two years in Arena (not quite Spring Green), but most of my life has been happily spent in Madison.
Have you done a show with Middleton Players Theatre before?
Oh yes, I have been involved with Middleton Players since 2006. I worked backstage until 2011, when I made my stage debut as Jack’s Mom in Into the Woods. Since then, I have been onstage for almost every production. I have also served on the Board of Directors for about ten years.
What do you enjoy about Mother? Are there any challenging aspects of her character to portray?
Mother is such a powerful character. She’s an upperclass woman of the 1900s, and I love having the opportunity to portray someone so dignified who also awakens to her ability to be independent. It is challenging to accept and convey the limitations placed upon her by her era.
What is your favorite part of the rehearsal process?
There are too many to choose from! I love the first read-through, when everyone comes in with a prototype vision of how they’re going to portray their character. Sitzprobe is another favorite point of the rehearsal process; hearing the orchestra for the first time is so exciting! Finally, I love opening night. The way an audience changes the energy of a performance is such a great feeling, and I always look forward to that “this is it” moment.
What do you do when you're not performing/working in the theatre?
I work at CapTel in Human Resources, and also host trivia at the Nitty Gritty.
What would you like audiences to know about this show?
The themes of this show are so relevant and insightful, with a beautiful and heartbreaking score to augment. We are so glad that you are interested in sharing this experience with us.
What is your favorite theatre memory?
I saw The Lion King in Chicago and at the end of the opening number there is a drum beat that just blasts through the audience and reverberates through the entire house. I can’t adequately express the feeling in words; there was a moment of complete stillness and then the audience erupted into applause. It was such a simple thing, but that feeling was so amazing.
What is your favorite Broadway musical?
Ragtime. It’s such a blessing to be able to partake in my favorite musical for the second time!
What musical theatre song do you shamelessly belt out?
“In His Eyes” from Jekyll and Hyde. It’s a duet, so it’s double the fun!
What do you eat/drink before/after doing a show?
I drink lots and lots and lots of water before a show. I don’t like to eat before going onstage, so I normally just have a small snack. After the performance, I’ll eat just about anything.
BONUS: Give us a fun fact about yourself.
I have studied three languages in addition to English: German, French, and Japanese. (I’ve also studied Spanish and Italian, but for only one semester each.)
Don’t miss your chance to come see Ashton in our upcoming production of Ragtime! Performances are August 10-13 at the Middleton Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased here.