Today@Sam Article

Broadway Star And SHSU Alumna Takes The Stage With Houston Symphony

Aug. 26, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Katie Rose Clarke on Broadway stageStory by Jackie Swan

A special performance is in store for both the Houston and Sam Houston State University communities this fall as Broadway star and SHSU alumna Katie Rose Clarke takes the stage with the Houston Symphony in “Once Upon a Time: Alan Menken’s Broadway.”

Joined by Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke and the Symphony, Clarke will be performing classic hits from various Disney favorites alongside other vocalists from the Broadway stage, including Matt Doyle, Jordan Donica, and Montego Glover. Performances will take place Sept. 3-5, 2021 at Jones Hall, and a discount is available for SHSU students.

Though this is not her first concert collaboration with Reineke, “Once Upon a Time: Alan Menken’s Broadway” marks both a homecoming and a debut for the Texas native, as Clarke has not performed professionally in Houston since attending SHSU. Following her graduation with a BFA in Musical Theatre in 2005, Clarke went on to star in both the Broadway and National Tour productions of “The Light in the Piazza” and “Wicked,” the latter for which she holds the record for the longest-running actress to play the role of Glinda. She also has a history in TV and film roles, including “The Good Wife” and digital series “Relevant.”

Despite the struggles that come with a Broadway schedule, like living far from home and finding her way around New York City in an era without smartphones, Clarke says nothing compares to collaborating with writers, musicians, directors, designers, and other actors. Her passion for the performing arts radiates as she shares her advice for those pursuing a career in this field.

Katie Rose Clarke headshot“No matter what college you attend, it is true that you will get out of it what you put into it,” Clarke said. “This continues after your college career and into your professional experiences. At every level, challenges will continue to shape you and stretch you. There is absolutely no substitute for hard work, a willingness to learn and an attitude of humility. These are the things you can control.”

“No matter what industry you are in, there are challenges, but my challenge to myself has always been to maintain deep gratitude and humility for the opportunities that I have. No matter how many times a week I get rejected, how harsh certain feedback can be, or what criticism you stumble across online, those things can feel personal and cut you to the quick; but you can choose to pick yourself up and keep going every single day knowing that there is always something to be grateful for.”

Clarke’s dedication to musical theatre stemmed from a very young age and continues to grow with each tour and performance opportunity.

“I cannot believe I get to be back onstage in my hometown,” Clarke said. “This will be my first time back on a stage since the pandemic and Broadway shut down. It seems surreal, overwhelming and perfect that it’s here in Houston. What an absolute dream come true.”

Tickets for “Once Upon a Time: Alan Menken’s Broadway” can be reserved online at houstonsymphony.org/tickets. SHSU students may purchase two $15 tickets online with code STUDENT15 or by calling the box office. The tickets will be held at will call, and students need to present their ID at showtime to claim them.

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