You Don't Know This Woman: Mari Bass

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Mari Bass returns to the MPT stage to play Lucille Frank, the quintessential Southern wife who must reexamine who she is in order to save her husband. Keep reading to learn more about Mari!

Are you a Madison native? If not, what brought you to the area?

I grew up in Minnesota, came to Madison for college, and never left!

Have you done a show with Middleton Players before?

This is my sixth season with Middleton Players! Some of my favorite shows with MPT have been Rent, Ragtime, and Sweeney Todd.

What do you do when you’re not performing/working in the theatre? Do you have a daytime job?

I do have a daytime job - I work at Epic as part of the Technical Services team.

What is your favorite theatre memory?

I have so many, but I think opening night of Sweeney Todd (the first show I directed solo) was one of my proudest moments in theatre. After a completely hectic rehearsal process, to sit and finally see everything the team had accomplished hit me with a lot of emotions. I'm also thinking many parts of this show will end up being my favorite memories as well.

What is your favorite Broadway musical?

I can't say that I could pick a single favorite, but I have no shame about how much I love Wicked. I know many people are rolling their eyes at me, but I can't help it.

What musical theatre song do you shamelessly belt in the shower or in your car?

Any and all musical theatre songs! When I moved out to college my parents reminded me many times how much quieter the house was ;)

What is your favorite part of the rehearsal process?

One of my favorite things is having a fun ensemble track in a show and making up truly ridiculous and elaborate back stories for my characters. It's like having little fun secrets I'm keeping from the audience!

What do you enjoy about your character Lucille? In what ways are you similar or dissimilar to your character?

I love how Lucille is always pushing forward. She refuses to settle or give up. I aspire to be as strong as she is.

What would you like audiences to know about PARADE?

Having done this show once before I'm really learning how different your take on the show can be looking at it from the different perspectives of the characters. I think it's easy to gravitate to feeling like people are "good people" or "bad people" and I've learned that this show is so much more than that. I hope audiences will see that. I think one of the only ways to affect change is to be able to first understand another's perspective.

Come see Mari on stage in Parade this weekend only! Tickets are on sale now at