Allison Spann ’16 pursues Broadway dream

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photo: Alex Moravscik

Allison Spann ’16 is in Studio Vocals and PHS Choir, is the co-anchor in Tiger News, and is playing the female lead in this year’s musical, Nice Work If You Can Get It. She plans on pursuing her dream to become a Broadway actress by working at art camps over the summer, and is undecided on the university she will attend in the fall after graduation.   

When did you first become interested in the arts?

For me, the arts have always been a part of my everyday life … I started pre-school in Paris and there I had my debut role as Duck Number Three in the spring play … I’m told that at three years old I climbed up on the piano bench and told mom that I was going to learn to play … I got a jazz-based teacher and I continued when we moved back to the United States. I’ve been able to take advantage of so many opportunities in my life, and I’m so grateful to have a family that has nurtured all the different channels that creativity can take.

​Who do you play in the musical this year, and what can people expect from the play?

This year we are doing Nice Work if You Can Get It, which is a musical comedy involving booze, bubble baths, and a bootlegging woman named Billie Bendix. I play Billie, who falls for a millionaire bachelor, Jack Lynch ’17, on his wedding weekend. The score is all Gershwin, which is music to my ears. There are a ton of great dance numbers and the cast is fabulous!

Other than musical theatre, are you in any other arts programs at Princeton?

I have been a part of both Studio Band and Studio Vocals since my freshman year. Studio Vocals is actually a separate group made up of jazz vocalists from the band that competes at the Berklee competition in Boston every year. But in addition to that, I sing with Studio Band, doing more standard solo repertoire … I [also] sing with PHS Choir, Chamber Choir, and I was in Around 8 for two years. I took both Drama 1 and Freshman Women’s choir before moving on to Musical Theatre and PHS choir. I also took AP Music Theory last year with [Sarah Pelletier]. I co-anchor and sometimes write the script for Tiger News. Outside of school, I take classes at Princeton Dance and Theatre Studio and Princeton Ballet School, I take private voice and acting lessons, and I sing with my church’s children’s liturgy program … I was able to sing for Grammy-nominated jazz composer Rufus Reid because of Studio Band and various Broadway choreographers through the musical theatre program.

What are your plans after you graduate this spring, in terms of the arts?

This summer I hope to return to my job as assistant choreographer, director, and music director at the Cranbury Arts Council Theatre Camp. I’ll continue lessons in voice, acting, and dance, and gig whenever and wherever I can. In the fall I will be attending university, but I’m just not sure where. I hear back from all the conservatories I auditioned for sometime in mid-March, so for now it’s fingers crossed! The end goal, regardless of where I go to school, is getting to New York prepared for a sustained career on Broadway.

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