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Connecticut Theatre Company

Spotlight On: Sheila Duckworth



Connecticut Theatre Company’s “Spotlight On…” series continues with a look into our talented cast and crew of The Drowsy Chaperone. Get to know Sheila Duckworth who is portraying one of the Pastry Chefs!




Introduce Yourself to Our Audience:

My name is Sheila Duckworth and I play one of the pastry chefs in CTC’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone”.  I have always loved music, singing and dancing. Recently, I made the decision to put my love of each of these activities together and join the theatre community.  Some of my favorite roles that I have had the opportunity to portray are Vicki in “The Full Monty”, Sister Mary Irene in “Sister Act”, Mattie Fae Aiken in “August: Osage County” and Margaret in ” 9 to 5”.


What is challenging about bringing this script to life?

I would say the most challenging part of bringing this script to life is remaining conscious that each character in this play actually represents 2-3 characters since this is a play within a play.  Every actor has to play the character in the musical as well as portray the actor portraying that character and in the pastry chefs’ case we also are playing as actors portraying characters disguised as other characters. In order to do justice and stay faithful to this script we have to give thought and backstory to each character involved and be true to each of their separate motivations.


Why did you want to be involved in this production?

I had the opportunity to see a version of this play about a year or so ago and I thought the concept and execution of the play was interesting.  I found the characters in the “musical” funny and the character of Man In Chair brought depth and vulnerability that I wasn’t expecting. I enjoyed the high energy and the catchy songs. It’s such a fun ride.


Who is the show is most like their character?

This is a tough question, as I see shades of people in a lot of the characters, I would have to say, Ralene as Mrs Tottendale.  Both Ralene and Mrs. Tottendale are sweet, bubbly, cute, funny and endearing.


What’s going to surprise people about this show?

I think many people will be surprised that this musical is about so much more than the musical within the play. As the audience watches the fun romp that ’The Drowsy Chaperone” is they will also be drawn to the humanity, vulnerability, and nostalgia represented by Man In Chair.  They are so much more than a person with funny quips.  There is such a delicate balance between the humor, the melancholy , and the wistful nostalgia making this such a well rounded production.


What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?

I am hoping the audience will be excited about how well balanced in both absurdity and real human emotion it really is. I think people will find themselves reflecting back on the songs, shows, books and movies that got them through different times of their own lives and I hope that they are able to do so with a smile.  I also think most will leave with at least one of these catchy tunes roaming around in their head, as I do pretty much every rehearsal. 


The Drowsy Chaperone opens December 1st and runs through December 17th at Connecticut Theatre Company. Tickets on sale now!

Hailed by New York Magazine as “The Perfect Broadway Musical,” The Drowsy Chaperone is a masterful meta-musical, poking fun at all the tropes that characterize the musical theatre genre.