Alysha Umphress discusses "Scotland PA’s" amazing score, "On the Town" and carving your own path!

  • Kevin Ray Johnson

It is my honor to introduce you to the amazing Alysha Umphress. Anyone who has heard Alysha’s voice knows that I am not exaggerating when I say that she truly has one of the best voices in the business. Alysha will be starring as Jessie in Scotland, PA at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Laura Pels Theatre, which begin performances on September 14th. It is directed by Lonny Price, choreographed by Josh Rhodes, with Music & Lyrics by Adam Gwon and a Book by Michael Mitnik. I first saw Alysha perform in American Idiot on Broadway (her Broadway debut!).

Alysha-Umphress-headshot-2.jpg

Alysha has also performed on Broadway in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Shirley), On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (Paula), Bring it On The Musical (Legendary Soloist), and On the Town (Hildy). I am so happy to have had the privilege of interviewing someone who I have admired for years as well as a person who strongly emphasizes being yourself on and off the stage! 

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer?  

Five-years old. Saw a children’s theatre production of Oliver! and knew it was what I wanted to do.  

Where did you study? Are there any mentors that truly helped make you the performer you are today?  

San Francisco school the arts (SOTA) and The Boston Conservatory. My voice teacher at “BoCo”, Victor Jannett really taught me a whole new way of singing and found a voice I didn't know I had. Plus he was and is the kindest person ever.  

Congratulations on Scotland, PA! I have followed your career for many years and have always admired your amazing work. What are you most excited for when it comes to this new musical?  

Excited for people to hear this amazing score. Adam Gwon has written some amazingly ear wormy, slick, sexy songs.  

Are there any shows that you have done in your career that will always be near and dear to your heart?  

American Idiot forever and always. It my Broadway debut of course but so many of my best friends to this day are friends I made doing this amazing, supremely special show, On the town. Not only because it was an incredible production and cast and creative team but also because we were the little show that could. We transferred a huge Broadway revival from a Barrington stage summer production to one of the biggest theatres on Broadway with no big stars attached. Plus, I met my husband doing it so for that I will be eternally grateful.  

Kaleb Wells, Ryan McCartan, Wonu Ogunfowora and Alysha Umphress(Jeremy Daniel)

Kaleb Wells, Ryan McCartan, Wonu Ogunfowora and Alysha Umphress(Jeremy Daniel)

What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business? 

Carve your own path. And be 100% yourself. We haven’t seen you yet. Show us how your unique qualities set you apart. 

To learn more about Alysha’s upcoming show please visit – www.roundabouttheatre.org 

Check out this amazing acapella performance of “On Broadway” featuring Alysha Umphress, Tony Award Nominee Joshua Henry, Jawan Jackson, Ryan Vasquez, Adrienne Warren and Dominic Green.