Hey all you Muniacs! My name is Lindsey Rudd, and I am one of the writers for “The Muni Moment” this year! At least once a month, fellow blogger/vlogger Taylor Brown and I will bring you Muni highlights, audition tips, guest writers and more. This month’s focus: #MyMuniJourney.

#MyMuniJourney actually started back in 1999, when five-year-old me set out to audition for Muni’s production of The Sound of Music (FYI-children’s audition age is now eight!). I don’t remember much from the process other than the staff asking me to sing the “Do, Re, Mi” scale and me having literally no clue what that meant (whoops). I remember quickly searching to find my parents, and realizing quickly that everyone around me was singing along and smiling trying to get me to sing with them. This was my first interaction with one of the most supportive groups of people I have ever met. I didn’t get cast that year (#tonedeaf), but I had definitely caught the theater bug. Fast forward four years, and I was a nine-year-old who could actually carry a bit of a tune at this point. I landed my first role as the Munchkin Barrister (practically the lead!) in Muni’s 2003 production of The Wizard of Oz. From that moment on, Muni became a family affair. My dad, brother and I all enjoyed time on stage, while my mom enjoyed the behind-the-scenes action and eventually became the queen of the concession stand.

Some of my favorite shows and roles I’ve had include:

The Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music – My first two Muni shows, both of which I shared on the stage with my dad (love you Captain Von Trapp!). During these shows I met my beloved voice teachers, Leigh Ann and Judy, (I attribute getting cast in shows the years following entirely to them and their training – they took me a LONG way from the five-year-old who didn’t know what “Do, Re, Mi” was). I also had a brief encounter with my future-husband, cast as a Nazi youth (you’ll see in a bit, I clearly have a thing for the bad boys).

Little Shop of Horrors and AnnieTwo more shows I did with my dad (allllllll the bonding time), but even better was getting to meet some great ladies and strengthen friendships with some I already knew. Plus, check out the awesome wigs I wore!

Trio member, or Dora the Explorer? You decide. Also, I met some of the greatest friends ever during this show. I’m so grateful for the lifelong friendships Muni builds.

All Shook Up, Hairspray and High School Musical Hands down the most fun, high-energy, eight week cardio programs I have ever completed.

I’m not kidding when I say it was a cardio program. I think I lost 20 lbs that summer. #werk

White Christmas – I was about seven months pregnant, wearing a wig, Christmas sweater, and a Santa hat in 100+ degree weather. What’s not to love?! If you didn’t get to see this sight, I’m truly sorry you missed out on such a treat.

Not picturedmy large and in charge baby bump.

Legally Blonde – Holy cow, what a show! I may be biased, but “Omigod You Guys it was SO GOOD. The staff was hands down my favorite staff I’ve ever worked with, the cast was stellar, and I played the evil Vivienne Kensington, and I am certain no typecasting involved.

Go best friend! (That’s my best friend!)

Peter PanI’ve done the show twice. The first time I played a warrior girl and met the girl who has been my best friend ever since; the Elle Woods to my Vivienne, if you will ;-). The second time around, I played Wendy, got to fly under the stars and got engaged to the love of my life, the most handsome of the swashbuckling pirates (#badboy), during one of our rehearsals.

Love this lady to Neverland and back.
Wendy and her pirate lived happily ever after…

Okay… that may have been every Muni show I have ever performed in, but how could I leave a single one out?! They are all special in some way. Also special shout out to shows I worked crew on, Oliver and Big River.  I had just as much fun behind the scenes, so if you’re thinking you want to get involved but the stage isn’t for you, there are many opportunities beyond performing. More info? Visit http://themuni.org/Volunteer.aspx

#MyMuniJourney has been a blast so far. As we head into our 2019 season, two of my favorite shows I have ever done are being performed again. This time around, I have two wonderful children to share the magic with. My #wish this year is that they see the same magic I saw in these shows.

Muni’s Wizard of Oz Dorothy and Lion coming Summer 2034!

Please, share your journey. If you’ve had many years with us under the stars or are just contemplating auditioning this year, your journey starts somewhere! When you comment, use #MyMuniJourney, we will post some of our favorite journeys that you share with us in future posts!

See you under the stars,


All views and opinions expressed on The Muni Moment are those of the guest writers and do not necessarily represent the views of the Springfield Muni Opera.