The next interview in our stagey chat series, is with the incredible Bree Smith, who is currently playing Shug Avery in the touring production of The Color Purple. Bree has most recently appeared in stage productions of Coming to England, The Wiz, Tomorrow May Be My Last and Evita.

Get yourself comfy and join Bree and I for a chat about all things stagey!

Hi Bree, thank you for chatting to Stage to Page today! How are you doing? And would you mind introducing yourself and telling us how you first got into acting?
Hello, my name is Bree Smith. I am a freelance performer and choreographer. I first got into acting and the performing arts industry through watching a church pantomime and wanting to get involved in it so I started to go to a local Saturday musical theatre school. Alongside this I was also taking street dance classes and having singing lessons. 

The Color Purple is now open, and you're playing Shug Avery. Can you tell us more about the story and the role you play?
It a very intense story with some deep themes. To sum it up in a few sentences, it’s about the life of a resilient woman Celie who manages to see hope through all the adversities and struggles life throws at her. Shug Avery is a jazz singer in the town who helps Celie see her beauty and strength but as confident and outspoken as Shug is she is also fighting many insecurities and struggle herself. 

Is there any specific preparation you did for the show? And how has the rehearsal process been going?
No special preparation other than the usual of researching the era, music, text, writers, composers etc. The rehearsals have been fabulous. To be working in a room full of so many talented, inspirational black people has been something truly special. 

Do you have a standout moment from within the show? (One that doesn't give away any spoilers for anyone that's yet to see it!) 
I love the African section at the beginning of Act 2. The movement, the costumes and the vocals are just very special. 

You'll be taking The Color Purple across the UK. Are you looking forward to taking the show on tour, with such a talented group of people?
Yes, I am. I know for a fact we are going to have so many laughs along the way. I am already learning so much from the amazing cast and their different experiences. 

I have to ask every guest on Stagey Chat this question: my blog is called Stage to Page. But if you could turn any book, from page to stage, what would it be and why?
I’m actually not much of a reader to be honest, I probably shouldn’t say that but I would probably be “The Princess and the Frog” the book and movie are incredible; and I think it would make an amazing musical. 

Regardless of gender and age, which stage role would you choose to play and why?
I would love to play Simba in The Lion King. I think it would be such a fun role to play. 

And finally, why should people book tickets to The Color Purple? 
Because if you don’t….. you are missing out! Big time. P.S bring a pack of tissues for the crying and expect a six pack at the end from all the laughing. 

You can catch Bree in the last few weeks of The Color Purple, which is currently on a UK tour. Buy tickets here.

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