Actress Kristin Stokes has been with this musical, based on the Percy Jackson & the Olympians book series, since it was one-hour workshop show off-Broadway. Now, the musical is taking on a National tour for the very first time. Stokes tells us about her character, how she prepared for the role, and why everyone should come out and see it. The Lightning Thief will be at the Merriam Theatre until January 27th and tickets are available here. You can also grab a Greek god-themed cocktail before the show at Volver- watch how the “Poseidon’s Poison” is made on YouTube.
Q: Tell us a bit about your character of Annabeth Chase and her relationship to Percy Jackson in the musical.
A: Annabeth is a demi-Goddess (her mother is Athena) that Percy meets at Camp Half-Blood- a place where young Demigods and goddesses train. She’s extremely smart, brave, and confident, and proves to be a huge help- and friend- to Percy throughout the show.
Q: You have played the role of Annabeth since the first workshop of The Lightning Thief. How does it feel to see this show grow and finally go on tour?
It feels amazing. I have a passion for new theater and developing characters on stage, but creating a musical takes a lot of time and doesn’t always pay off with a Broadway production. It’s thrilling to be a part of something like The Lightning Thief from the beginning and watch it grow into its full potential. I feel honored that I’ve gotten to stay with the show for so long and be a part of its journey.
Q: How did you get involved with the show / prepare for this role?
I had worked with our director, Stephen Brackett, prior to this show and he was the one who thought of me for this role. I had not been familiar with the series before the audition, so after I got the part I immediately read the first book (which is what our show is based on). I loved the book so much that I continued to finish the series and have since re-read it every time I’m about to start rehearsals. I truly love the books and there is so much material for me to draw upon for the creation of Annabeth that I always find myself returning to find more.
Q: You’re also part of the original cast recording. What’s your favorite song from the musical?
A: Honestly, I love all the songs. Rob Rokicki writes such fun rock music that it’s really is hard to pick. I think my favorite changes nightly, but unanimously we all LOVE the finale, “Bring on the Monsters”. Not only is it fun to sing, but we all get to be on stage together after completing this heroic show. In addition, everyone’s musical theme is tied into the song somehow. It truly is a masterpiece.
Q: Why should Philadelphia come out to see the show?
A: It’s going to be unlike anything they’ve very seen. The story is very unique- full of surprises and immense heart. The music is rockin’ (it’s on Spotify if people want to get a head start), and the book (written by Joe Tracz) is hilarious- definitely something for everyone. I think whether you know the books, movie, Greek mythology, or none of the above- the fun we’re having onstage is infectious, and it would be hard to leave the theater not feeling the same way.
Q: The tour just started and you have many more towns to visit. Are you looking forward to seeing any cities or venues in particular?
A: This is my first National tour so I’m really looking forward to traveling the country in general. I’ve never been to Canada so I’m pumped to go to Toronto. We have a nice two-week sit down in Detroit that I’m excited about, and of course, going to the Pacific North West- where I’m from- will be amazing.