Throughout the past year, I have had the amazing opportunity to interview several people, all thanks to the amazing blog team at Camp Broadway. Today, I am even more excited to bring you an interview with Ella Dane Morgan, who currently is one of two young girls playing Lulu in Waitress! I interviewed Ella’s double, Cate Elefante, a few months ago (you can find that interview here).
Ella just finished up kindergarten, and during the school year was simultaneously learning and performing on Broadway! Her favorite type of pie is gluten free strawberry with criss-cross crust and whipped cream on the side!
Ella had an extremely special day on September 8th, 2017. It was her first day of kindergarten, the day of her callback for Waitress, and also the day that she found out she has gotten the role! Ella said, “I couldn’t believe it and I felt so happy! I was SOOOOO excited that my dream of being on stage was coming true!”
Without further ado, here is my interview with the adorable, sweet, and talented star of Waitress! I started with asking for some of Ella’s favorites!
Favorite treat to get in the city?
“My very favorite treats are the gluten free cupcakes and macaroons from Baked by Melissa. I also love cheesecake and bubble tea with extra bobas!”
Favorite place in the city?
“Bryant Park because I get to ride the carousel!”
Favorite thing about kindergarten?
“I loved math because you learn a lot and it’s just so much fun! I also liked recess because you can play different games with your friends.”
Favorite song to sing?
“My current favorite is “Naughty” from Matilda but I also never get tired of singing “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.”
Of course, I didn’t forget to ask Ella about her castmates and her experience being in Waitress. It may be hard to believe, but this tiny superstar performs on Broadway four times per week!
SUTTELL: What did you have to do for your Lulu audition?
ELLA: “I had to say “A lot!!” and I had to say “Hi mama!” and run and jump into someone’s arms. It was so much fun! At my callback I got to play Simon Says with our director, Diane Paulus.”
SUTTELL: Who are some of your favorite cast members to have fun with backstage?
ELLA: “It’s hard to choose!! Eric (Eric Anderson who plays Cal), Jeremy (Jeremy Morse who is the Ogie understudy) and our Company Manager, Eduardo (Castro) – they’re like having big brothers backstage!”
Thanks to Ella’s amazing, sweet-as-pie mother, I also got to ask her some questions about Ella’s time in the show.
SUTTELL: “What has it been like balancing Ella’s kindergarten age lifestyle with the aspect of performing in a Broadway show several times a week?”
LAURA: “In theory, she gets to have the best of both worlds – half the week as a normal kindergartner and half the week as a Broadway baby! Once we figured out a basic schedule, it hasn’t been too difficult to balance. Her teachers have been super supportive and flexible. Whenever Ella has to miss anything at school, we are able to work on it in her dressing room at the theater. Ella performs in 4 shows a week so she had to cut back on other activities. Before starting the show she was involved in gymnastics and dance, plus Tae Kwon Do three times a week. For now, she had to pick just one, so she’s doing gymnastics. She’s also taking voice lessons since she loves the musical theater world so much. Ella’s dad and I have adopted a ‘divide and conquer’ mentality. On the days Ella and I are in the city, he takes care of meals and dropping off/picking up Ella’s little brother at preschool. He holds down the fort at home in addition to his full time job. (He’s kind-of a Super Dad!) As parents we’re just happy we are able to support Ella in doing something she loves so much.”
SUTTELL: “What do you think the best thing she’s gotten out of it has been and what memories/experiences do you think she’ll remember and cherish most when she’s older because of Waitress?”
LAURA: “Honestly, I think the best thing she’s gotten out of it is the friendships. She has been so lucky to work with such a great theater family. Just good people! She has also learned so much about the world of theater. Big things and little – even basic things like what terms such as ‘cue’ and ‘understudy’ mean that she hadn’t been exposed to before. She’s also now very confident and comfortable in the physical space of a theater and in front of an audience. She has no fear of speaking in front of a crowd. I think her favorite memories will be her friendships and shenanigans with the cast, but the highlights of her time at Waitress will certainly be performing in The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (watch it here) and on Good Morning America (watch it here).”
Ella is an amazing girl who I can already tell has a bright future in theatre, or whatever she chooses to pursue! I had an amazing time hearing about her story, and can’t wait to see where she goes next!
Special thank you to Ella Dane Morgan and Laura Morgan for taking the time to make this possible, as well as the production/media team of Waitress!