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IN 2020, RÁNA ROMAN lost her chance to play a dream role as Eva Perón in an Evita concert at the Skylight Music Theatre because of the COVID shutdown. But three years later, the show is finally returning to Skylight (Feb. 3-19) – this time as a fully staged musical – with the Milwaukee actress as the lead.
Why is this role important to you?
There are not a ton of Latinx storylines, and to have such a female-centric story told is also less common. I spent quite a few years knowing that this was a role I would love to be able to play someday but not feeling like I was ready, artistically or personally. This is my Mount Everest. I’m grateful that it’s coming at a time now where I don’t have doubts about myself as a performer.
How did you reach that point of feeling prepared?
I’ve always looked very young, and I spent a lot of my career playing really young roles. My first opportunity to play a full-on adult with a lot of gusto was Lend Me a Tenor at Milwaukee Chamber Theater in 2014. [My character] was really fiery and in control – that was really empowering. [After COVID], I did a one-woman show playing a woman older than myself, caring for her aging mother. Accomplishing that show gave me a sense of self and assuredness that I can do hard things
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How do you prepare to take on a role with this much history?
I wanted to try to understand the [real] person as opposed to the musical. I did a lot of reading about Eva to help understand both how she made herself and was made by the society she lived in.
What changes now that the show is a fully staged production?
This is certainly much more of a physical undertaking. This means truly going a million miles an hour with staging, choreography and costume changes. It’s a whole different level of energy.
Tickets and more information at skylightmusictheatre.org.