In the upcoming 2016 production of Jesus Christ Superstar by JCS Entertainment Ltd. (JCS Ent), young singer/actress Arianna Rodas Laing along with Gyerlini Clarke will play the role of Mary Magdalene – a female follower of Jesus who finds herself falling in love with him.
For the six shows of Jesus Christ Superstar, there will be only two Sunday matinee shows at 6 p.m. (25th September and 2nd October) and two Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m. (23rd, 24th and 30th September and 1st October) at the Queen’s Hall Auditorium.
There will also be special-priced, morning school shows from September 27th to 29th, at which Rodas Laing will feature as ‘Mary’ exclusively.
At fifteen years old, Arianna Rodas Laing has been involved in musical theatre extensively and has achieved an impressive line-up of performances almost comparable to actresses twice her age.
She has actively participated in the performing arts through school performances starting at Savonetta Private school then at the St. Joseph’s Convent San Fernando, where she is currently enrolled.
She is a multiple T&T Music Festival South-Zone winner, SanFest winner and San Fernando Youth Festival winner. Her extracurricular activities include singing and soloing with the Presentation Mixed Choir and also with the Trebles Youth Choir. She has been involved in many musicals and earlier this year played the lead female role of ‘Marion Paroo’ in Presentation Mixed Choir’s production of ‘The Music Man’.
Whether its portraying a lead monster role at the Decibel Expo Zombie Island installation, or belting her heart out as ‘Elsa’ from the Disney movie Frozen at party bookings, Arianna Rodas Laing is one hundred percent committed to and passionate about musical theatre and the performing arts.
Her line up of performances include roles such as ‘Young Cosette’ from Les Miserable (2010), ‘Cinderella’ (2011), ‘The Snow Queen’ (2014) and as ‘The Evil Queen’ performing excerpts from the hit musical ‘Wicked’ (2015).
Earlier this year, she was also specially invited by the Major of San Fernando, to sing at the Statutory Meeting for San Fernando City Council, where Historian Angelo Bissessarsingh was presented keys to the city for preserving national heritage and Sarah Partapsingh was awarded a medal for her bravery in saving a child’s life.
When JCS Ent announced the available roles for the 2016 edition of Jesus Christ Superstar, Rodas Laing had not specifically auditioned for Mary. However, her vocal talent made the choice undeniable even when compared to other more mature candidates.
While she has played lead roles in musicals at the school level, her portrayal as Mary Magdalene with JCS Ent will be her first attempt at a breakout role on a national level. Her parents have been completely supportive of her upcoming performance and she sees the role as a natural evolution of her musical theatre career.
“I had my first on stage kiss in the last musical I was in (The Music Man), so my parents have definitely seen me do things for roles,” she laughed.
“They have been totally supportive and never once have they said they think a role is too much, or too adult. They are more concerned with if the preparation period is stressful, especially coming from south every day for rehearsal, it’s like an hour in traffic and they have to take me.”
After the long audition process, she was delighted to be confirmed in the role and has been guided by Jesus Christ Superstar director Raymond Choo Kong to find an age-appropriate balance in the role and showcase the softer tenderness of Mary Magdalene. Ultimately, her challenge will be to portray Mary’s great strength in her steadfast loyalty and commitment to Jesus.
“As the weeks went on, I did my research and watched all the different versions of Jesus Christ Superstar and I really fell in love with this role. It’s exciting and also a challenge. The other ‘Marys’ who auditioned went for a more seductive approach, because of course, she’s a prostitute, but Raymond understands my age difference and he helps to make it work for me and for everyone. You can tell he knows what he is doing.”
Ultimately, Rodas Laing considers herself a super-fan of the JCS Ent musical family, having seen past musicals and idolized some of the actors with whom she will now share the stage.
“When I first started coming to JCS rehearsals I was sort of star-struck because I have seen some of these actors on stage for years, and now I’m your co-star. I have to sing a duet with you. It’s surreal and exciting.”
To see Arianna Rodas Laing make their debut performance in JCS Ent’s Jesus Christ Superstar, get tickets at the Queen’s Hall Box Office or contact JCS Ent at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 488-2330 or 620-2244 for more details on both ‘September Spectacular’ shows.