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AU Alumna Margo Seibert's Broadway Debut

By Jamie McCrary

Margo Seibert

Though much of her time is spent pretending to be someone else, AU alumna Margo Seibert, BA international relations '05, believes in staying true to herself. “It took me a long time to learn and embrace this, but you just have to be you,” says Seibert. “If you don’t bring what’s unique about you into an acting role, then you’re just walking on stage to deliver what other people want—and how are you supposed to know what that is, exactly?”  

An actress and singer in New York City, Seibert will be making her Broadway debut this March as Adrian in the new musical Rocky. Based on the 1976 movie written by Sylvester Stallone, Rocky tells the unlikely love story of tough boxer Rocky Balboa and shy pet store clerk Adrian Pennino.“Adrian is this painfully shy woman who has been completely overlooked, and Rocky sees the beauty and the potential in her,” says Seibert. “They both are in such dire places in their lives, and they find hope and light within each other. It’s a really beautiful love story.”  

Seibert is striving to stay true to herself by bringing her own experiences and emotions into the role. “Adrian is a very shy, scared, and nervous person,” she says. “Instead of trying to figure out exactly what is going on with her, I’m trying to channel all the scared, nervous, and frightening things that have happened to me into the character. And the nervousness I felt waiting to go into the audition—I could use that, too.”  

Though making her Broadway debut is exciting on its own, Seibert is thrilled about the opportunity to help develop new work. “I can’t believe I’m making my Broadway debut in an original musical,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to developing Adrian’s character with Andy Karl, who is playing Rocky, and exploring their relationship. It makes me feel like I am an active, intelligent contributor to the artistic process.” 

A 2005 AU graduate, Seibert did not study theatre during college. She majored in international relations in the School of International Service at AU and spent her time outside of class rehearsing and performing in university theatre productions. “The cool thing about being at AU is that I could always be in productions here,” says Seibert. “It was such a great family—I’m so glad that they accepted me with such open arms. AU gave me the opportunity to still be involved in all of those productions and cultivate the confidence I needed.”  

Seibert believes that studying another field only strengthened her craft, enabling her to deepen her understanding and perspective of life outside the theatre. “Sometimes I get sensitive because I never studied theatre formally, but I think it only helps to be diverse and study as many things as you can,” she says. “Life experience is important as an actor. Those experiences are only going to help inform your work.” 

In addition to gaining perspective outside of the theatre, Seibert believes in the power of community. “I think that I’ve been able to come so far because I had very supportive family and friends,” she says. “This has been a huge help, especially when I’ve been very discouraged. Having a close support network—people who are on your team—is so important.”  

Though Seibert is not sure where her life as an actress will take her, she wants to continue deepening her craft and collaborating with others to produce new work. “This is a very big opportunity for me right now, and I’m excited to see where Rocky goes,” she says. “I would love to continue to be a champion of new work and be a part of this creative process. The cultivation of music and art is still happening, and I want to be a part of that.” 

More than anything, Seibert hopes that her work will continue to impact audiences, drawing them into a world that asks them to connect with others—and to themselves. “You never know how many Adrians are in the audience experiencing her emotions. Maybe they need to see the story to say ‘Okay, I’m worth it,’” says Seibert. “That’s what theatre does. You see yourself, your mother, your father, whoever—you see the people that you know in a way that you haven’t before. You never know how it will impact people, and I’m so thankful to be a part of creating that personal experience for people.”