Sisters of Swing is showing May 19-29, 2022! The story of the Andrews sisters. This musical follows the Andrews sisters from their early days on the road through their rise as recording stars to entertaining American GI’s overseas. Featuring songs such as "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." This show is guaranteed to knock your socks off.
We reached out to actor Mandy Vollrath to find out more about her and her experience working on this fun production!
What’s your favorite number in this production? Why?
Hold Tight, for sure. From the rhythm which makes you want to get up and dance, to the words that are somewhat silly and definitely a tongue tie, to the tight harmonies it is just FUN!
What do you love about working with SART?
I love the people! Everyone is so hardworking, fun and kind. It is a joy to work with such amazingly talented people who live here in Western North Carolina.
Tell us about your character. What’s your favorite thing about them? What do you love about getting to portray them?
Patty Andrews was the youngest of the Andrews Sisters and the lead of the group. My favorite thing is that she is was such a big, fun and comedic person. Every interview with her, it is obvious she was a performer down to the core. I love getting to portray her loud voice, expressive character and all around fun-loving spirit.
How did you get into theatre?
I started dancing and singing before I could hardly walk. I come from a musical family with many big personalities. At a young age I was obsessed with all the old films featuring many names mentioned in this musical such as Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby; really anything from the golden era of Hollywood. The dancing and singing captivated me. Their grace and poise; the long plots that had real character development. Nowhere did I find that type of acting present in current times other than in the theatre. I started taking professional acting classes when I was eleven and continued on into my teenage years, studying at the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory in Raleigh.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the area?
To state a favorite thing to do in this beautiful place I call home, is simply impossible. It is the weekly gatherings of community that I enjoy the most. The North Asheville Tailgate Market, First Baptist Church of Asheville, daily walks in my West Asheville Neighborhood - the familiar smiling faces of those unique and inspiring souls I am graced to have in my life. My favorite thing is to enjoy the simple company of my family, friends and community amidst the lush green backdrop of these gorgeous mountains.
What about this production are you the most excited about?
I am most excited to sing this music and create fantastic harmonies with Lara and Fancy. The music of the Andrews Sisters was formative in my passion for singing so I am honored to share it with the audience.
What’s your favorite part about performing?
I love being able to step into someone else's shoes and bring to life their story. It is an act of embodying all aspects of the human experience. I find it liberating, humbling and path to understanding ones own self. My favorite part is when I am able to tell that story and see it impact someone else.
Do you have any upcoming projects we should check out?
Yes! My fiancé, Luke Shaver and I are starting a classical/jazz duo that will performing regularly in venues throughout Asheville starting this summer. Most excitedly, I am thrilled to launch the first season of Muse Asheville next year - a series of operatic concerts featuring local singers. For more details and information regarding both of these, please feel free to visit my website at www.mandyjvollrath.com.
Mandy J Vollrath began singing before she could talk and dancing before she could
hardly walk. Some of her earliest memories include listening to old jazz records on her grandfather's 1932 Victrola. Of all the iconic voices that rang out, The Andrews Sisters captured her greatest attention and their sound were formative in her lifelong passion for singing. In her teenage years she studied musical theater at the North Carolina Theater Conservatory and received her undergraduate in Music Industry Studies at Appalachian State University. While there, she extensively refined her classical and operatic voice under the direction of Tony award-winning tenor, John Fowler. Since then, she went on to build a robust career in arts fundraising and worked for organizations throughout the state such as the North Carolina Symphony, Asheville Symphony Orchestra, LEAF Global Arts and the Blue Ridge Orchestra. Currently, she and her family live in West Asheville where they maintain an urban homestead. She is a soprano in the choir at First Baptist Church of Asheville and regularly performs around Asheville with her life partner and Mars Hill staff accompanist, Luke Shaver. Her full-time job is raising her two young children, Thomas Martin and Emilia. She is extremely excited and honored to make her debut with the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater in such a personally special role.
Sisters of Swing is showing at Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre May 19-29, 2022. Grab your tickets here: https://www.sartplays.com/sistersofswing