Mattingly finds her home on stage


Madlynn Morris

Junior Taylor Mattingly performs in “Seussical the Musical” in January.

Exa Nix, Staff writer

Ever since she was little, Taylor Mattingly knew she wanted to perform. She started taking acting classes in kindergarten and has not slowed down yet. Just this year she auditioned for the Theater Under the Stars academy (TUTS).

“I actually went to their shows,” Mattingly said. “I did some research and I saw they had auditions. I was excited to have an opportunity to learn more about what I want to go into.”

Theatre Under the Stars is an organization that puts on professional productions. The academy Mattingly auditioned for offers acting classes for ages 15-20. They have 1,700 students yearly. The program has trained celebrities including Chandra Wilson, Sadie Sink, and Kevin Cahoon. The academy trains students for Broadway and has a very intensive auditioning process.

“You have to submit five different videos,” said Mattingly, who spent a month preparing her audition material.

“(There are) three different dance forms: Jazz, tap and ballet. Then the other two are a 1-minute monologue and 32 bars from a Broadway musical.”

The organization took three weeks to look over applications before sending out their acceptances. Mattingly checked her email everyday to see if she received a reply and for three weeks not a word.

Finally, her mom texted her telling her to check her email. She had made it.

“I was ecstatic,” said Mattingly. “I was in the theater, so I was jumping around.”

The program offers a variety of options for aspiring actors. Mattingly qualified for the highest level of singing class, midlevel ballet and two other beginner classes. She takes two classes weekly and the classes are taught by Theater Under the Stars actors.

“They have experience in the field you want to go into,” Mattingly said.

Her classes are downtown next to the TUTS theater. Along with her regular school work she has work in her theatre classes as well. She takes home monologues to dissect as a part of learning about embodying a character. For her singing classes she takes home songs to practice.

“I’m still trying to figure it out,” said Mattingly “But it doesn’t allow me a lot of time to sit and relax. I’m always doing something. I really have to structure my day to make sure I have time to complete all my work.”

Mattingly has always had a passion for theater. Her favorite part about acting is being able to express emotions that you don’t feel in day-to-day life. She has been in over 10 productions and does not plan on stopping anytime soon.

“They prepare you for college,” said Mattingly, “for what the lifestyle is like and what you need to succeed.”