People in Regina’s theatre community got a thrill Sunday when Tatiana Maslany walked on stage to present at the Tony Awards.
The Regina actress, best known for her role in the television series Orphan Black, was introduced at the awards with a photo and explanation about her start in acting — as an orphan in the 1995 Regina Summer Stage production of Oliver.
Community theatre veteran Marianne Woods remembers the little girl with wiry pigtails and a red fez cap, as she played Nancy in the same production all those years ago.
“She was lovely to work with and she just loved doing the show. The kids were the stars of that, they just made the show,” Woods said, recalling how Maslany asked to take a picture with her backstage.
Watching Maslany’s rise to success in Hollywood has been a treat for people like Woods who worked with her through Regina Summer Stage, Regina Little Theatre and Do It With Class.
“She’s still continued to be very humble and very appreciative and grateful of where she’s come from. So to have that acknowledgement and to know that we played a small part in what she’s become is very admirable,” Woods commented.
Woods said it’s inspiring for younger generations of aspiring actors to see people like Maslany and Broadway actor Paul Nolan find success, particularly because it proves no matter where you start and no matter how small a role you have, you can go a long way with hard work.
The flash of a picture and short intro on musical theatre’s biggest night was also a happy moment for Nora Berg, who is currently directing Regina Summer Stage’s production of Chicago.
Berg remembers working as an assistant director on that same production of Oliver.
“It seemed like she was years older than she actually was, she was so professional about things and I mean there was never a whine or complaint out of her, she just did her very best every time she hit the stage,” Berg said, adding the Regina theatre community has loved watching Maslany’s journey.
“It gives weight to community theatre and the work we do there. We do it for the love of theatre and it certainly shows when someone takes that love and transforms it into a professional career.”
Berg also hopes people pay attention to the current local talent about to be showcased in Chicago from July 11-15.