Sophomore star

Sophomore Ruby Tallardia set to co-lead spring musical


STARING: Sophomore Ruby Tallarida leading rehearsals with cast members

In the Jones College Prep spring musical production of “Mamma Mia,” Ruby Tallarida ‘25 played co-lead Sophie Sheridan. 

Due to her age, Tallarida did not think she would get the chance to play Sophie, as she expected the role to go to someone with more experience. 

“I wasn’t expecting to get this role, especially as a sophomore. I genuinely would have never expected something like this,” said Tallarida. 

At first, the role was daunting for the younger actress, with this being her first lead role in a Jones production. 

“I wasn’t sure how I would be able to take on something this big. I’ve never really had a role like this,” said Tallarida. “I haven’t been in high school very long.”

However, age differences within the cast didn’t create any issues between the cast members on and off the stage. 

“The people in the theater and the upperclassmen are so nice and welcoming. I never really felt like I was kind of pushed to the side because I’m a sophomore,” said Tallarida. “I have so many great junior and senior friends I would say I’m very close with.”

Despite getting cast as the lead, Tallarida still spends much of her time collaborating with many other cast members.

“In the first act, I have more stuff and it is pretty ensemble-heavy, so it doesn’t feel like I’m leading the show. It definitely feels like a group effort,” said Tallarida. 

Throughout the process, Tallarida worked through fears and nerves on stage. 

“[I worked on] being more open, because it’s still scary performing in front of people and having to sing in front of the whole cast, but you get used to it,” said Tallarida. 

Despite the pressures and nerves, Tallarida feels the cast made the musical a positive experience.

“I mean honestly, the best part is just the people… like those big ensemble numbers where everyone is just dancing and having fun,” said Tallarida. “It generally feels like I’m supposed to be having fun with my friends on stage and I’m having fun with my friends in real life.”

Jones Drama teacher and director Brennan Roach had no expectations or standards for the character of Sophie going into auditions. 

“[We are] completely objective with what everyone brings to the table during the audition and callbacks. It’s almost like getting a puzzle with no lid to the box and the pieces are changing color and shape,” said Roach. 

During the audition process, Tallairida brought something out that others did not to stand out and gain the role of Sophie Sheridan. 

“There was something that Ruby brought out to the performance and  those auditions and callbacks that had a lot of truth to it, it had a lot of heart. But there was also clearly the pain of something missing, something longing, which is right in line with where I’m taking the show,” said Roach. 

Overall, the show was an astounding success, with students, parents, and teachers raving about the performance. 

“The show has so much heart, so much joy… it is gonna feel like the best destination wedding you’ve ever been to,” said Roach.