Brett Williams: Making her mark on stage

“I actually started performing in middle school, my first performance was the school musical of Peter Pan, and I had one line and it was ‘Excuse me sir, but what’s a cypher?’ I still really don’t know what a cypher is.

“My name is Brett Williams, and I am a junior in zoology. I am hoping to someday do conservation and rehabilitation of wildlife.

“I started volunteering at the Carolina Tiger Rescue when I was 15. I just fell in love with tigers. They are so amazing, and ever since then I knew that I wanted to work with exotics.

“I won the Performing Artist Award for Theater for 2010-2011 here at State, and it’s the first time they’ve given out this award, and I won it for my performances in ‘Twelfth Night’ as Viola and then as Little Sally in ‘Urinetown.’

“‘Twelfth Night’ was my first leading role that I had had, and I really liked that character because I feel like it gave me a chance to show that even Shakespeare can be understood by everybody.

“‘Urinetown’ was actually written because the people who wrote it didn’t like musicals. They hated musicals. They hated this breaking out into song for no reason at all. In writing it, they realized that they actually loved musicals for all the crazy stuff that they put in there. And Little Sally’s character comments on everything. She doesn’t just play along with the show, she breaks out of it and is, like, ‘Wait a minute. Why are we doing this?’ I love making people laugh, and she was just one of those characters that almost every line … made everyone smile.

“I’m currently in ‘WMKS: Where Music Kills Sorrow,’ and it’s a radio show based in the 1930s in Virginia. It’s definitely a lot different than the theater I’m used to, because I’m playing my own instruments, and I had to learn how to clog. And I’m working with professionals in the industry. It’s my first actual paid acting job.

“You feed off the energy of the audience, and when they just start laughing, it’s hard to stop.”

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