Tatyana Lubov was cast as Cinderella after just four months in New York City.
The glass slipper fits. Tatyana Lubov, a 23-year-old from Cottage Grove, is making her national tour debut as a Disney princess. The recent graduate of UW-Stevens Point is playing the lead in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s updated classic, Cinderella.
Lubov has been performing on local stages since she was a child. She was in the ensemble of a community theater production of Evita. She fell in love with the stage when playing young Cosette in a local production of Les Misérables. As a teen, she won several of Overture Center’s Tommy Awards: Outstanding Leading Performer in 2010 (as Natalie in All Shook Up) and 2011 (as the title role in Aida).
Lubov had been in New York City for only four months when she auditioned for the touring production. “It was an open, non-Equity [non-union] call. I showed up really early, and I was already person 412!” she says. The casting directors only had time to see the first 200 people, and they told the remaining hopefuls to send in an audition video instead. Lubov says she got excited when she noticed the number of views for her video skyrocketing. Over the course of the next two months she was called in for multiple callback auditions before the creative team announced she’d be playing Ella.
Lubov will be traveling across the U.S. and Canada with Cinderella until June 2017. The show opens Sept. 27 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and moves to Overture Center on Oct. 4. Isthmus talked to Lubov about falling in love with theater and what to expect in the modern version of Cinderella.
What was the first musical you saw as a kid?
My parents took me to see Beauty and the Beast. They say I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
What’s your dream role, apart from Cinderella?
I’ve always really wanted to play Christine in Phantom of the Opera. I think it’s one of the coolest shows of that genre.
Who inspired you to become a performer?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t have the support of my parents. My mom was my choir teacher. [Lori Nahirniak, Monona Grove High School choir director and music teacher]. My dad [Taras Nahirniak, a composer] was my musical director a couple of times. I grew up in a very music-centered home.
Do you think it will be nerve-wracking performing in Madison, or will it feel like coming home?
I’m definitely a little anxious. My mom told me she has 150 students coming for the last performance. I’ll probably be more excited than scared.
How has the Cinderella story been updated?
It’s very contemporary. Ella is a much stronger character; she’s politically involved in what’s happening in the kingdom. They really focused on making her an equal with the prince. I think that’s important for little girls coming to see the show.