Come and Meet: Gina Jorgenson

Gina Jorgenson will be portraying Maggie Jones, one of the co-writers of Pretty Lady, the show-within- a show of 42nd Street. A music and theater teacher, this is her first acting role in twelve years! Learn a little bit more about Gina below, including her most embarrassing memory in the theatre.

Are you a Madison native?

I'm originally from Deerfield, WI, and currently live in Sun Prairie. I decided to do the show in Middleton because the Sun Prairie summer shows were only for kids!

Have you done any shows with Middleton Players Theatre before?

This is my first show acting with Middleton Players Theatre, and the first show I've acted in since 2005. I was Assistant Director for last season's production of Sunday in the Park with George. I wanted to audition because having three kids (Melanie-10, Daniel-7, and Charlotte-2) and a full-time teaching job makes it difficult for me to be in shows during the school year!

What do you do when you’re not performing or working in the theatre?

I teach music and theater at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic School in Sun Prairie, WI. I am in charge of teaching K-5 general music and 6-8 choir. I started an after school theater and improv group for students in grades K-4 called Rising Stars, and I direct/produce a full musical every other year for grades 5-8. This year, we just got done with Bye Bye Birdie!

What is your favorite theatrical work?

My favorite shows are anything by Jason Robert Brown because the music is so complex. If I can't play or sing the chord progression on first listen, I am truly intrigued by the music. My all-time favorite is The Last 5 Years because the character Cathy is so tragic!

What is your strangest experience in theatre?

I'll talk about my most embarrassing performance moment…I was in the Kids from Wisconsin for five summers. My third year, we did a country medley that required a quick change (I can't remember if it was before or after the number). At any rate, our tops were held together with Velcro. My partner at one show looks at me, looks, down, looks at me with wide eyes and mouths "your shirt." Yup, it was open for the whole world to see.

What do you enjoy the most about Maggie Jones? Are there any challenging aspects to portray?

I like the character of Maggie because she's not too serious, she gets to be a little gaudy, and she has some funny jokes in the show. The challenge is that I have to go against all of my vocal teachings and be as much like Ethel Merman (my idol) as possible.

What do you eat/drink before and after doing a show?

I haven't been in a show in twelve years… I anticipate I will be eating fruits and veggies and avoiding dairy. Or I may be so nervous that I won't eat anything…

What would you like audiences to know about this show?

I feel this show exemplifies the spirit of the Broadway musical because it's a show about making music in the Great Depression; even though everyone was sad, poor, and down on their luck, there was still music and dancing and singing that could help people escape those feelings. In these uncertain times, we still come back to art and music because it makes us feel something!

BONUS: If you didn't have to worry about money, what would you do?

If I didn't have to worry about money, I'd be a baby cuddler at the hospital and go visit prisoners in jail who had no family.

Don’t miss your chance to come see Gina's return to the stage in our upcoming production of 42nd Street! Performances are June 29-July 2 at the Middleton Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased here.