Who: Eugene-born Summit High School senior Isabella Torrance, 17, stars in Thoroughly Modern Productions’ “Mamma Mia!” Torrance plays Sophie in the show, which features the songs of ABBA. It opens Friday for a two-weekend run at the Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St., in Bend. Contact: towertheatre.org or 541-317-0700.
Q: When did you start doing musical theater?
A: I actually started my sophomore year of high school. … That was two years ago in Florida … I’ve been back for a year now.
Q: What was your first role?
A: My first role was Pepper in “Annie,” and it was an unfortunate high school production of “Annie” (laughs).
Q: What was wrong with it?
A: It was just a high school production of “Annie.” We had a 5-foot-8 Annie, so she towered over the Mr. Warbucks. So it was a little interesting.
Q: Sophie is a pretty big role in “Mamma Mia!”
A: It is. … We’ve got a really talented cast. I’m very, very happy with the talent in our group. I always get so excited when I go to rehearsal because they’re so talented, and they always make me feel so welcome since I am the youngest in the cast by a long shot. (Sophie) is 20, and the next oldest cast member is 21, so I’m still a little baby to them, and they always make me feel so welcome, so it’s been really nice to have such supportive cast members. They always make me feel good after rehearsal.
Q: Do you have a preference between singing and dancing?
A: I’m a dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was 10, so that’s my big one. … She’s a little out of my range, so I’ve had to work very hard to make sure that those notes that I hit are good.
Q: Were you already familiar with the musical through the movie?
A: Well, I had never watched the movie, (but) the first professional show I went and saw was “Mamma Mia!” and my old neighbor in Florida took me to go see it. I just fell in love with theater, and then that’s kind of what got me into it. So it’s a really special show for me, since it’s one of the first shows I saw professionally. … I saw that in 2017, so right at my sophomore year.
Q: Do you have any favorite songs in it?
A: Probably one of my favorite songs — I don’t sing it, but it’s probably “SOS,” which Donna (Mollie Tennant) and Sam (Ryan Klontz) sing.
Q: Are you an ABBA fan at all?
A: Oh yeah. I grew up listening to ABBA. I really love their music. It’s very ABBA. There’s no other way, really, to explain it (laughs).
Q: Any other shows you’re doing this year, or auditioning for?
A: I am auditioning for “Into the Woods” at my school. I’m also choreographing that, and I’m choreographing “Frozen Jr.” for BEAT Children’s Theatre. I was assistant choreographing “Oliver” last season, and then they asked me to choreograph “Frozen.” It’s in November.
— David Jasper