Betsy Padamonsky (DONNA)
1. Tell a little about yourself – Background info, family, education, Interests/hobbies, etc.
I grew up in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, the home of the famous Slinky. I began performing at age 4 when I played the youngest orphan, Molly, in ‘Annie.’ From that point on I was completely obsessed with performing. I am the youngest of 4 children and my parents are both involved in theater. I attest my success, passion, and love to having an incredibly wonderful, passionate, and supportive family. I attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh where I graduated with honors earning a BFA in Musical Theater. I spent many years doing small performing gigs around the country and eventually moved to New York City to pursue my dreams of being on the stage. I was given the opportunity to perform aboard Norwegian Cruise Line as a principal singer, and I left the city to travel the world. Whilst onboard I met the love of my life and now husband, Ian. We were inseparable, continued working for Norwegian, and enjoyed seeing the world together for the next 8 years. Ian left ships to work shoreside for Norwegian Cruise Line Holding, and we currently reside in Florida.
I traded in my sea legs for silver platform boots when I accepted the leading role of Donna Sheridan with the North American Farewell Tour of Mamma Mia!. It was a dream come true as my love of ABBA stretches all the way back to being a little girl dancing to the ABBA GOLD album in my parent’s basement.
I absolutely love all things performing, Broadway, coffee, yoga, fitness, family, friends, and laughter. I cannot wait to explore the local fitness, hiking, yoga, historical landmarks, and coffee exploits of New Bedford!!!
2. What about MM lured you to us for casting consideration?
When approached to do NBFT’s MM, I got extremely excited! It is always wonderful to share this story is a new audience, and with a fresh perspective. On the tour, I saw the impact it made across North America, and people still contact me today to express their love and gratitude for this show, so to have the chance to do it again is a priceless gift! Also, having the chance to work with this team, cast, and at NBFT was such a great lure. 🙂
3.What about your role do you think presents your greatest challenge?
The hardest challenge when playing Donna is to convey her strong side as well as her warm vulnerable side. I feel so connected to her, and love/admire her tenacious will, boss-women strength, independent nature and her fiery spirit. BUT you also have the able to show that she is a loving-nurturing mother, caring friend, generous boss, and warm humble human. It’s a delicate balance to achieve and I strive to acutely express Donna’s truth.
4. What do you feel the audience will get out of seeing our production?
Usually audiences are drawn to ‘Mamma Mia!,’ because of the fun infectious music of ABBA, but they end up leaving feeling light-hearted and joyful because of beautiful story! It is a story of family, friendship, strength, forgiveness, exploration into one’s self, love-lost, love-found, humor, but MOST OF ALL LOVE! It’s very relatable and I know the Audiences will not only enjoy the music costumes, and dance but they will leave with a happy exuberance!
5. What are your personal goals as a performer? Now? The Future?
My personal goal has always l always been to honestly and courageously be a story teller/entertainer. I think, as an actor, it is my job to transport audiences to a new world… for two hours or so each night! I have dreamed of creating great work that I’m proud of, but that will encourage younger generations to keep art and theatre alive and thriving. I hope to continue this incredible vocation for the rest of my days-sharing stories with the audiences of the world and inspiring them with each new journey.