Saturday was opening night of Mary Stuart, so we thought we’d celebrate the occasion by introducing you to Eleasha Gamble, who plays the titular role (among others) in this newly adapted drama. You may have seen Eleasha perform at Olney in the past in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2011), Oliver! (2005), and West Side Story (2000). We are thrilled to have her back, performing in the intimate Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab for the first time. Get your tickets soon because you won’t want to miss her work!
Tell us a little about yourself and how you started working in theatre?
I’m a Washington, DC native. I was raised in Takoma Park and went to Good Counsel High School back when it was still in Wheaton, MD and I graduated from Catholic University. Being here at Olney Theatre Center again is truly coming around full circle. This is the theatre I began my professional career. I was the Narrator in Joseph on the Historic stage, back in 1999 and I was still a freshman in college at the time. I’ve done subsequent productions here at Olney Theatre Center, but that was my first show as a paid professional and it was a special experience and one I hold close to my heart.
What is special about the DC theatre community?
The DC theatre community is a strong community that takes care of each other. It’s a family. It supports each other during good times and bad. Attending the Helen Hayes is like going to a huge family reunion! It’s always so astounding to see how much the community has grown over the years. There is so much amazing theatre happening here. From major big budget shows to small black box theater, there is groundbreaking work happening in the DMV. I moved to New York about 7 years ago but whenever I come back, I feel the warm arms of this theatre community welcoming me home. DC will always be my home and I’m proud to be a part of this great theatrical family.
What has been exciting and/or challenging about your work on Mary Stuart?
I can easily say that this production will ultimately prove to be one of the most exciting and challenging experiences of my career. I’m typically only cast in musicals so this has been a great opportunity to work outside of my comfort zone. It’s proved to be such a challenging but rewarding experience. This production requires a different type of flexibility. Fluidly switching between characters in front of the audience, within one breath sometimes, took me time to navigate. Each of the characters I play go on their own journey and I’ve had to work hard to track each one and to give them each distinctive characteristics and point of view. I’ve learned so much about myself as an actor and from each of my fellow castmates. I’m surrounded by an amazing company, director, and crew and the rehearsal space was a safe place to explore. We are having a blast bringing this story to life and I’m excited to have audiences see the show.
When you aren't performing, how do you like to spend your time?
When I have free time I love to cook and relax with friends. I am also a big fan of self care so I make a point to get massages as often as I can.