Q&A With Alum Megan Larche
Spotlight Date:May 22, 2013
Megan Larche, a class of 1996 Theatre Alumna, is a casting director, Tony Award nominated producer, & audition coach based in New York City. While with Binder Casting, she cast the Broadway revival of Grease, A Chorus Line, The Times They Are A-Changin’, & The Lion King – children's casting; films: True Grit (Paramount Pictures), Diary of a Wimpy Kid (20th Century Fox), It’s Complicated (Universal Pictures), Hairspray (New Line Cinema); television: Grease You’re the One That I Want and Law & Order: season 20. She can be seen casting in the documentary Every Little Step (Sony Pictures Classics).
Megan’s passion for Theatre started long before she arrived in New York City, she explains: “When I was 5 my Kindergarten teacher told my mother I talked too much and needed an extracurricular activity. My Mom took me to an audition for A Christmas Carol at the Delray Beach Playhouse. I sang "Happy Birthday" and was cast as a village child. That forever changed my life -- I've been in Theatre ever since!”
Q: What was your favorite production while at Dreyfoos (SOA)?
A: Definitely Hair, it was my sophomore year and Beverly Blanchette's first year as Dean of the Theatre Department. It was so adventurous of her to challenge us and the school with that show. I felt, for the first time, like I was a part of something bigger than just entertainment. It was art to move you, to change the way you think. That changed the way I thought about performing.
Q: Who was your favorite Dreyfoos (SOA) teacher?
A: Garry Q. Lewis and Tom Robbins!
Q: What is the most profound change you experienced at Dreyfoos (SOA)?
A: I learned that I fit in. That there were other people just as odd as me and they were wonderful. I truly belonged somewhere.
After graduating, with Honors, from Dreyfoos (then Palm Beach County School of the Arts) Megan went on to attend The Florida State University to continue her Theatre education.
Q: How did you arrive at your current career?
A: When I was at DSOA I was a performer … well that's if you asked me. Mrs. Blanchette saw something else in me and pushed me towards stage management. I studied both in high school and when I got to college I realized she was right, I should be a stage manager. I expanded on my knowledge of management and moved to New York to become a Broadway Stage Manager. But, after a couple of years working in the city, I started to feel the need for a new challenge. My roommate at the time, Eddie Pendergraft (class of 1997) suggested I apply for a casting internship with Binder Casting. I was hired, that decision forever changed my life. I spent the next 4 1/2 years working my way up to Casting Director and getting to have my own Broadway Productions. It was like the ultimate grad school.
As part of my job at Binder I cast Gary Marshall's production of Happy Days the Musical for a couple of years. There was an afternoon when we were sitting in his office watching audition tapes and his assistant was passing out peanut butter sandwiches cut into triangles (the way he likes them) and I thought, "Now this is cool." He's a legend and a very smart man. It was a lot of fun to watch him work.As time passed and I wanted to learn more about the business, I wanted to know what life was like at the top of the productions I worked on. How were they arriving at the decisions that affected my work and the actors I'm putting into these roles. So in 2007 I took a job as the assistant to Kristin Caskey with Fox Theatricals. I am now their Associate Producer. I've also retained my casting career working for myself as a freelance Casting Director and audition coach. I've been able to work for some incredible film Casting Directors these last few years and even got to fulfill the New York dream of doing "Law & Order" (casting for 2 episodes in season 20). I'm very blessed that I get to work on the two things I love most - producing and casting.
Since becoming an Associate Producer at Fox Theatricals Megan has worked on such shows as Bring It On: The Musical, TRACES, Legally Blonde the Musical and the upcoming Coal Miner's Daughter.
Q: You were just nominated for a 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical as the Associate Producer of Bring it On: The Musical, what has that experience been like?
A: Personally, it's very cool. So many people have been reaching out to me, a lot of friends from DSOA have sent congrats which means so much. I have dreamed of being a part of a show at the Tony's since I was a kid and now here I go! It's been tremendously gratifying to have all your friends in the industry say, "You guys really put on a terrific show and we want to honor that". That's what a Tony nomination means – “you like, me, you really like me”! Especially since we closed in January, which in the Broadway season is practically 3 years ago! Now we get to perform one last cheer in front of everyone we love; it's going to be a really fun night for us all!
Q: What is your favorite aspect of theatre?
A: The sense of community. No matter the level of production - school, community theater or Broadway - at the end of the day we're all putting on a show. The curtain will rise and you have to do whatever it takes to make that happen. You work together and form bonds that never go away. You will always have that shared backstage life and all the crazy crap that happened there and that's magical!
Q: As the Casting Director, of the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line you were showcased in the film Every Little Step. What was it like having the casting process filmed?
A: It was wild. For the first few months we were really cognizant of the cameras being around. But after a while you just don't care because you have work to do. You learn to ignore them. I did learn one thing - always be nice to the film crew. They hold your onscreen future in their hands. I was treated really kindly in our film and there are others who can't say the same.
Q: What do you feel has been the highlight of your career so far?
A: There are two. The first is casting A Chorus Line. I spent 3 years of my life in studio after studio, listening to some of the most iconic theatrical music ever written, while watching the most talented dancers in New York "eat nails" performing Michael Bennett's legendary choreography, and listening to Baayork Lee and Bob Avian tell stories. It was like a Broadway dream.
The other would be being a part of Bring It On's journey. From page to stage, I was there for every step of this show's development and ultimate Broadway run. And I couldn't be more proud.
Q: What is your next project?
A: This August I am moving to St. Louis to become the resident casting director for the MUNY theatre, America's oldest outdoor theater.
Q: Have you ever been star struck?
A: Star struck ... hmm. This past summer I had the honor of meeting gold medal-winning Olympic gymnasts Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman. They came to see Bring It On while they were in New York doing the talk show circuit. I completely geeked out and asked if I could take my picture with them. I've never done that with any celebrity or star I've met. That level of physicality is on another level - it's super human! I can't believe people can do it; especially these incredibly young, poised, sweet girls.
Q: What recommendations do you have for our current DSOA students?
A: Thoreau said it best, "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life". High school is a magical, stressful, crazy time! You're discovering who you are as an artist. You’re experimenting with work, with who you want to surround yourself with, and how you want to be understood. Take every opportunity the school and your teachers offer you. Step outside your department. If you're a dance major, make friends with a singer. If you write, date a painter. Try everything you can because once you leave this bubble, it's never like DSOA again. And you will quickly appreciate how good you had it.
Q: In a brief statement can you explain “What Dreyfoos means to me”?
A: Dreyfoos gave me the foundation to create my professional career in Theatre. But most importantly it gave me the love and support of teachers, staff, and friends that has stayed with me throughout these - eek! - 17 years. I am who I am because I got to attend SOA.
Be sure to watch the Tony Awards on June 9th!
Do you know an alumnus who deserves to be in the Spotlight? Email the Foundation.