Sharon Wheatley

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Sharon Wheatley
Sharon Wheatley.jpg
Wheatley at the Come from Away stage door
BornDecember 7, 1967
Cincinnati, Ohio
OccupationActress, singer, writer
Spouse(s)Robert Meffe (married 1991–2016), Martha Donaldson-Wheatley (married 2017–present)
Children2

Sharon Wheatley (born December 7, 1967) is an American actress, singer, and writer known for her work on the Broadway stage and in the New York theatre scene. She is currently performing in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Come from Away,[1] where she originated the role of Diane, a friendly Texan who finds love when the transcontinental flight she is aboard is suddenly diverted to Gander, Newfoundland, due to the events of September 11, 2001. Wheatley, who has been with the production since its first professional production at the La Jolla Playhouse[2] in the spring of 2015, is expected to continue with the production throughout 2018.

Wheatley published her memoir, 'Til the Fat Girl Sings: From an Overweight Nobody to a Broadway Somebody,[3] in 2006, to positive reviews from outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, and BroadwayWorld.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

A Cincinnati, Ohio native, Wheatley graduated from Ursuline Academy in 1985, and in 2015 was inducted into Ursuline's Performing Arts Hall of Fame.[6] Following her high school graduation, Wheatley was accepted into the renowned Musical Theatre program at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She completed CCM's musical theatre program in 1990. During her four years at CCM she studied voice with famed Barbara Honn, who helped her develop a heathy and versatile singing technique.[7] In 2007, Wheatley was honored with CCM's Young Alumnae Award, which "is given in recognition of excellence in Musical Theatre or a related field by an alum of the Musical Theatre program at CCM in the past two decades."[8] Wheatley obtained her BFA in 2012 by attending classes at Pace University, where she won numerous writing awards.[9]

Wheatley credits her passion for performing to Quisisana Resort in Maine, where she spent several summers working as a performer. She is still a regular guest and mentor to the young performers there.

Wheatley moved to New York City in 1991 following a cross country tour with The Sound of Music,[10] and worked side jobs for a while before landing her first Equity job with the national tour of Les Miserables in late 1992.[11]

As a writer, Wheatley started early, writing a book about healthy living while still in high school. However, she quickly realized Broadway was her main goal—not being an author at the age of 17—so she abandoned writing until 2004 when a casual conversation in a dressing room ended up sparking an entire novel, and making writing a major part of her career.[10]

Career[edit]

Sharon Wheatley made her Broadway debut as a swing in 1994, in the original Broadway production of Les Miserables directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.[12] Before joining the Broadway company of Les Misérables, Wheatley traveled nationally as part of the touring company where she was a member of the ensemble and understudied the roles of both Eponine and Cosette.

Additional credits include[13]:

Linda Balgord and Sharon Wheatley in Cats

Broadway[edit]

*Original Broadway cast
**Closing company

Wheatley holds the distinction of being the only actress to appear in Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Cats on Broadway.[14] She also originated Avenue Q at The Wynn Casino and Resort in Las Vegas as Kate/Lucy/Mrs. T/Yellow Bear.[15] On Broadway with Avenue Q, Wheatley served not only as a standby but also as the assistant stage manager and dance captain for part of her time with the production.[13]

In July 2018, Wheatley returned to the role of Kate/Lucy for two performances only to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Avenue Q in New York City.[16]

Tours[edit]

Regional[edit]

Wheatley has performed the majority of her regional credits at The Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont. Outside of her work at Weston, other notable credits include playing the Baker's Wife (Into the Woods) and Rosabella (The Most Happy Fella) at the Lyric Opera Cleveland in Ohio.

'Til the Fat Girl Sings, written by Sharon Wheatley

Writing[edit]

  • 'Til the Fat Girl Sings: From an Overweight Nobody to a Broadway Somebody
  • My Own Space, personal website and blog
  • Avenue Zoo[19] (Bronx Zoo stage show)
  • Performance material for various artists

Wheatley's autobiography, 'Til the Fat Girl Sings (Adams Media), came out on June 1, 2006, and Wheatley followed its release with a year of public appearances and book-launch concerts.[20] The writing of her memoir led to sketch comedy writing for Kristin Chenoweth,[21][22] writing an award winning skit for the Gypsy of the Year Awards in 2017 with her Come from Away castmates,[23] writing nationally for Weight Watchers from 2011-2015, and blogging on her own website, My Own Space. As a blogger, Wheatley is probably best known for Smash—Fact or Fiction?, a blog/quiz that follows every episode of NBC's Smash (which was created by her close friend and mentor Theresa Rebeck). Smash—Fact or Fiction? was written up in New York Magazine on two occasions[24][25] and was featured in Marie Claire Magazine.

Concert soloist[edit]

Wheatley has performed as a solo vocalist with a number of pops orchestras, as part of touring programs of the hits of the 1950s and holiday music, with conductors Jack Everly, Stuart Chaftez and Charles Prince. She has sung with such orchestras as Detroit, New Jersey, Oklahoma City,[26] Naples[which?], Jacksonville, Milwaukee,[27] Omaha,[28] Seattle and Portland[which?].

Personal life[edit]

Wheatley was previously married to Robert Meffe, a conductor and music professor. The couple met while studying at University of Cincinnati and began dating while working at Quisisana.[29] They had two daughters together.[30]

Wheatley married Broadway stage manager Martha Donaldson in 2017, whom she met in 2015, during the debut run of Come from Away.[31][32]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2015 Craig Noel Awards[33] Outstanding Ensemble Come from Away

(La Jolla Production)

Won
2017 Helen Hayes Awards[34] Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical—HAYES Production Come from Away Won
2017 Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography[35] Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show Come from Away Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Come From Away | A New Musical | Official Site". Come From Away | A New Musical. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  2. ^ "Come From Away". www.lajollaplayhouse.org. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  3. ^ "Til the Fat Girl Sings: From an Overweight Nobody to a Broadway Somebody". Amazon. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  4. ^ Plume, Naomi. "BroadwayWorld.com BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK REPORT Part I". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  5. ^ Wheatley, Sharon. "Welcome". My Own Space. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  6. ^ "Ursuline Academy of Cincinnati". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  7. ^ "Barbara Honn | ZoomInfo.com". ZoomInfo. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  8. ^ "Awards". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  9. ^ Wheatley, Sharon. "I Wish I Could Go Back To College (The Conclusion)". My Own Space. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  10. ^ a b Wheatley, Sharon (2006). 'Til the Fat Girl Sings. Adams Media.
  11. ^ League, The Broadway. "Les Misérables – Broadway Musical – First National Tour | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  12. ^ League, The Broadway. "Les Misérables – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  13. ^ a b League, The Broadway. "Sharon Wheatley – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  14. ^ "'Cats' pause". www.enquirer.com. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  15. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Jenkins, Etc. Join Wheatley at Drama Book Shop, 11/15". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  16. ^ "Original Broadway Company of Avenue Q to Return for 15th Anniversary | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  17. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Weston Playhouse Presents FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, 8/2-25". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  18. ^ "James Penca – AEA – -A FUNNY THING HAPPENED..." www.jamespenca.com. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  19. ^ "Avenue Zoo Performers – Sharon Wheatley Casting". The Producer's Perspective. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  20. ^ Desk, BWW News. "'Til the Fat Girl Sings' Sharon Wheatley Talks". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  21. ^ Broadwaycom (2017-05-05), Broadway.com #LiveatFive with Sharon Wheatley of COME FROM AWAY, retrieved 2018-02-06
  22. ^ Coverage, BWW Special. "BWW Exclusive: Kristin Chenoweth's 2013 Sold-Out Australian Tour Scrapbook!". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  23. ^ "Who Won Gypsy of the Year 2017? | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  24. ^ "The Approval Matrix: Week of April 9, 2012". NYMag.com. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  25. ^ "Smash's Megan Hilty on Prescription Drugs, Sleeping With the Director, and Broadway Rejection". Vulture. 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  26. ^ "Music highlights golden age of '50s". NewsOK.com. 2006-02-28. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  27. ^ "Jack Everly Joins Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra" (Press release). Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra – via "Jack Everly Joins Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra". Huliq. Hareyan Publishing. June 4, 2008.. templatestyles stripmarker in |via= at position 570 (help)
  28. ^ von Kampen, Todd (April 12, 2015). "Omaha Symphony, guest conductor Jack Everly show off staying power of 1950s". Omaha World-Herald.
  29. ^ Hebert, James (June 26, 2015). "Pair 'from away' find a home in theater here". The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  30. ^ Dominus, Susan (September 4, 2009). "When Babies and Broadway Intersect". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Clement, Olivia (May 12, 2017). "Come From Away's Sharon Wheatley Weds Martha Donaldson From The Glass Menagerie". Playbill.
  32. ^ Holson, Laura M. (2017-05-12). "In the Theater, an Unexpected Match for a Reluctant Bride". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  33. ^ "2015 Awards". The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  34. ^ "2017 Helen Hayes Awards". theatrewashington.org. 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  35. ^ "BANDSTAND, CATS, HOLIDAY INN, SWEET CHARITY Among 2017 Chita Rivera Award Nominees". BroadwayWorld.com. May 1, 2017. Archived from the original on May 1, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2017.

External links[edit]