CAPA Grad Ibn Snell Makes National Tour Debut in CATS the Musical

CATS is returning to Philadelphia by popular demand! Don’t miss one of the most beloved musicals of all times as it plays March 14th to 19th at the Kimmel Cultural Campus Miller Theater. Making his national tour debut as Mistoffeelles is Ibn Snell, a South Philly native who began training in tap at the age of four. Snell is also a graduate of CAPA High School and the University of the Arts. In fact, he has even performed at the Miller Theater before, in U of Arts productions! Tickets to this Tony-award winning show can be purchased here.

Q: You’re a CAPA and U of Arts graduate- how did your education here in Philadelphia prepare you for your stage career and this national tour of CATS?
A: I danced everyday in high school and had many technique classes, all different styles: ballet, modern, jazz and hip-hop. I find myself doing the moves I learned at CAPA in CATS! Although it’s been over a decade since I was in high school, the foundation is still there from the rigorous training I had at CAPA. 

Q: You started taking tap lessons as a young child, what or who inspired you to start pursuing dance?
A: My family. I come from a family full of dancers, but more specifically my older sister Ayahnna.

Q: When you attended the University of the Arts, what were some of your most memorable shows or roles?
A: My most memorable performance was a 20 minute ballet choreographed by the co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dwight Rhoden. I performed it two weeks before obtaining my BFA. It felt like the perfect ending to my undergrad career.

Q: Tell us about your audition process for this tour. Where were you when you found out you would be taking on the role of Mistoffeelees?
A: I auditioned Tuesday and found out I booked the the role that Friday! I was driving and usually you don’t get a call back when you don’t book a job, so I was anticipating great news- the general manager opened with “It’s Friday and we have great news for you…” I was in shock for the rest of the day.

Q: What’s your favorite scene or song in CATS?
A: “Skimbleshanks”. It’s so much fun.

Q: Can you offer up a bit of advice to Philly teens considering CAPA or a career in the arts?
A: Dream big and follow those dreams. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to attend CAPA. CAPA changed my life and led me to become my best artistic self at a very young age. There will be setbacks on your journey, but it is all apart of the process. If you put in the work, you will reap the benefits. 

Q: Is there anything you’re looking forward to showing the rest of the cast/crew of CATS while you’re home in Philadelphia? What would you tell them are some “must visit” spots during downtime?
A: Definitely Reading Terminal. I’m also a big fan of South Street- the stores and shops on the strip have something for everyone.

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