My Theatre Bucket List

Jennifer Butler

  • OnStage Massachusetts Columnist

When asked, “Why you are traveling so far for this show” most would respond “because it is a bucket list show/ role”.   I am sure most actors have that, a theatrical bucket list, a role or a show they would travel for.  The one where you eat dinner in the car while sitting in traffic so you are not late for the rehearsal kind of travel.  For me that bucket list looks a little bit different.  Sure I have a small acting list too, and by small I mean, a piece of paper with Wendy in Peter Pan written on it. That is a major acting role that I would love to have. I had the opportunity to dance the role once but never have had the opportunity to have a speaking part in the play. 

However, at the suggestion of a friend, I tried to create a longer theatrical bucket list.

Although the more I thought about it, the more I realized that shows I have both worked on and have attended, have inspired me to travel around the world.  That is a different kind of theatrical bucket list but nonetheless, one that I have. 

The list includes seeing London and Paris in real time, and also meeting the stars of who put this show together.  I had the opportunity to meet most of the cast of Finding Neverland when it played a Pre-Broadway run, including stars Carolee Carmello, Laura Michelle Kelley, Jeremy Jordan and Thayne Jasperson, as well as many others in the ensemble.  People who are on my “I would love to meet” list include Kelli O’Hara, Sierra Boggess, Christian Borle, Anthony Rapp and, like most people, Lin-Manual Miranda (or anyone from the Hamilton cast.)  A little something to add would be that if the time period didn’t matter, lunch with William Shakespeare would be high on my list. 

My most recent obsession has been to find a way to get to London. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a major fan of J.M Barrie and the story of Peter Pan. I have loved the story for such a long time and seeing Finding Neverland when it was in its Pre-Broadway run at the American Repertory Theater in Boston. It only added to that fandom.  I just want to get to Europe and see in real time, all of the iconic places that I have only had the chance to see onstage. I want to someday stand next to Big Ben and go for a walk in the Kensington Gardens, perhaps meet a member of the Royal Family and of course, like most theater nerds, see a show in London's West End.

Take Phantom of the Opera as another example. Since I first saw that show I have only dreamed of going and seeing a show at the Paris Opera House.  It immediately became a life goal of mine to not only visit Paris but to see all of Europe. The Sound of Music lead me to have the interest in seeing Salzburg, Austria and the Vienna Opera House too.

Thanks to musical theater and other recent experiences I now have so much more that I want to do and see in life. These shows take me on an adventure and inspire me to see what is out there in the world and explore more than just my home town and country.