Written By: Leise Trueblood

We sat down with Theatre Workshop of Nantucket’s Matilda cast to find out the secrets behind their magic!


1. Tell us about your Nantucket connection.

I moved to Nantucket from NYC, 20 years ago. I came because of the arts community (and love!), and I have been working in theatre here ever since. It seems that I do more theatre each year! I also teach acting and voice, which is hugely satisfying.

2. When and where did you get your start in theater?

I got my start in professional theatre, after graduating from B.U. with a BFA in Acting, in the Broadway national company of Applause!, directed by the great Ron Field.

3. What has it been like working with this specific cast?

The cast is wonderful – so young, so talented, so creative! The production team is a dream. It’s wonderful to see the young cast members grow professionally with the guidance of our marvelous director, Sara Brians​.


JODI BLUESTEIN (Mrs. Wormwood)

1. What was the biggest challenge in preparing for Matilda?

Before this contract began, I fell during another show I was in and injured my knee pretty seriously. I was determined to be better in time for Matilda, and so I dove into an intense recovery regimen, with lots of physical therapy, positive thinking, and LOTS of patience. As challenging as that was, the resilience was more than worth it!

2. Do you have a favorite part in the show?

You’ll have to come see it, but there’s something James (Mr. Wormwood) does that has made me cry from laughing so hard, multiple times.

3. Matilda has such an unusual, exciting superpower. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

To eliminate ALL FOOD ALLERGIES! And as cliche as it sounds – the ability to fly.


GABE BELYEU (Miss Trunchbull)

1. Do you have any warm-up rituals?

Besides physical and vocal warm ups, I try to go around and have a moment with everyone in the production. Connection is important.

2. What’s your dream role?

Elphaba in Wicked… I can dream.

3. Matilda is beloved by so many young audiences as both a play and as the original children’s book by Roald Dahl. What was your favorite book growing up?

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.


JAMES RODGERS (Mr. Wormwood)

1. Tell us about your Nantucket connection…is this your first time on the island? What are you most excited for in the Nantucket holiday season?

I visited the island one summer a few years ago with my wife (Music Director Jillian Zack) and her family. Then [I] was delighted to come back for a full summer season with TWN. [I’ve] since been involved in ​Sound of Music​ two years ago and love Nantucket at this time of year.

2. When and where did you get your start in theater?

I’m originally from New Zealand so did a lot of my “teeth cutting” there. First professional jobs were with New Zealand Opera, a company that is obviously still very close to my heart.

3. What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

Wow, hard question. Albert Herring was pretty amazing. So was ​Candide​. Curly in Oklahoma​ was also a favorite.


ROAN LaSCOLA (Matilda)

1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I think that Matilda’s superpower is not just moving the chalk but seeing the power in being a good and kind person, and fighting to make people not accept meanness – I would like that to be my superpower as well.

2. What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

This one, Matilda… she is such a little person who knows that it is not okay to allow yourself to be treated badly. She helps the kids change the reality of their school, which is a hard and bad place to be, and together they turn it into a special school, a nice place to be. She’s a kid who is a hero, I love that about her. Bullying is never okay, not as a child or as an adult.

3. What was (or is!) your favorite book growing up?

I was not told to say this but Matilda has always been one of my favorites, and Harry Potter. I like it when kids don’t back down in tough situations.

For tickets to see Theatre Workshop of Nantucket’s production of Matilda, click here.

More from Leise Trueblood


Pressed for time but want to get something special for Mom for...
Read More