Junior plays Elle Woods in ‘Legally Blonde’

Phoebe McKinney takes on biggest role yet


Tenzin Gyaldatsang

Junior Phoebe McKinney practices her role as Elle Woods, working on her singing and choreography Nov. 21. Shows will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23 and 2 p.m. Nov. 24.

Sofie Geretz

According to junior Phoebe McKinney, playing Elle Woods in Park’s production of “Legally Blonde” is the largest role she has ever had in a production.

“I’ve had leads in the past, but nothing as large of an undertaking as this one. Elle is in every scene in this show and I’ve never had a role like that before,” McKinney said.

McKinney said she has loved singing for a long time, but has begun to act more in recent years.

“I’ve been in musicals since I was about 3 or 4 years old, but I really didn’t start taking it seriously until about eighth grade,” McKinney said. “That’s sort of when I knew I wanted to go into performing. I’ve loved singing my whole life, but performing has been a newer addition to that.”

According to McKinney’s co-star, senior Isaac Wahl, she captures her character’s wants and ambitions well in her acting.

“(McKinney) really captures what Elle most desires and the character Elle Woods is all about desires and going after what she wants,” Wahl said. “Phoebe is really good at playing the role with a lot of ambition.”

McKinney said she worked hard preparing for the “Legally Blonde” auditions, which helped her in attaining the role of Elle Woods.

“I definitely prepare a lot for auditions. I do a lot of research into the role and I try to pick a song that fits the character that isn’t from the show,” McKinney said. “I was really familiar with ‘Legally Blonde’ before I knew we were doing it at school, so that helps a lot.”

McKinney said the production has been a large time commitment, but has proved to be worth the effort.

“(Since) the second week of school, (I’ve spent) at least three hours on rehearsal every day,” McKinney said. “All of my lines are memorized pretty much outside of rehearsal, so that took a lot of my personal time as well, but I love doing it and I love spending my time on it.”

Wahl said McKinney takes acting seriously and puts significant work into her role.

“(McKinney) works very hard and is really talented,” Wahl said. “She takes things seriously, which is really important in theater or in anything you do.”

According to McKinney, she has been enjoying working with her role, making it her own and growing in her acting.

“I’m seeing how I improve and where I can (improve my acting). I love trying things in different ways, seeing what works and what doesn’t. It’s cool to see my progress,” McKinney said.

McKinney said her advice to other aspiring actors is to not hold yourself back and to put yourself out there.

“I’ve discovered that I’m my biggest critic and I’m really the only thing holding me back,” McKinney said. “Get enough courage to audition for something, there’s so much fun to be had and it’s just not worth being shy. If you want to do it, just do it.”

According to McKinney, “Legally Blonde” shows are 7 p.m. Nov. 15, 16, 22 and 23 and 2 p.m Nov. 17 and 24 in the Auditorium. Park students are eligible to see the play for free with a valid student ID.