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Josh Segarra on Shooting Hoops and Stripping Down in Lysistrata Jones

Josh Segarra on Shooting Hoops and Stripping Down in Lysistrata Jones
Josh Segarra photographed by Jenny Anderson for
I don’t want anyone to suddenly think, 'Oh, he was much cuter with his shirt on!'

Age & Hometown: 25; Longwood, FL

Current Role: Making his Broadway debut as Mick, a dim-witted college basketball player whose girlfriend refuses to “put out” until his team ends their losing streak in the new musical comedy Lysistrata Jones.

High School Musical: Growing up, Segarra was “obsessed” with the WWF, frequently filming wrestling videos with his younger sibs and hoping to become a wrestler or football player himself. “That’s where my love of acting started, the theatrics of it all,” he recalls. Segarra’s mother steered him away from aggressive sports, and when auditions for his high school musical and basketball tryouts were held the same day, he opted to head to Austria (on stage, at least) as Kurt in The Sound of Music. The day he graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts in 2008, Segarra landed a spot on the reboot of the ’70s children series The Electric Company. TV co-star Christopher Jackson (In the Heights) encouraged him to pursue musicals in NYC, which led to Segarra's break in the off-Broadway debut of Lysistrata Jones earlier this year.

In the Game: As Mick, the star college basketball player in Lysistrata Jones, Segarra gets to combine his love of sports and theater. “I could play him as a stereotype, but that’s my biggest fear,” he says of his absent-minded character. “I don’t want people to think, ‘What a douchebag!’ I want audiences to say, ‘Aw, what a doofus. That’s funny. I get him and I know that kid.’” Segarra has another fear, as well: performing a nightly striptease scene set in a brothel. “It’s terrifying,” he says, laughing about having to strip down to his underwear on stage. “It never gets easy. The whole time I’m thinking, ‘I ate Chinese food last night. Do I look fat today?’ I don’t want anyone to think, ‘Oh, he was much cuter with his shirt on!’”

He Has Confidence: While Segarra is aware of the pressure that comes in a high-profile Main Stem musical, he’s not letting potential naysayers get him down. “I’ve never done regional theater, and I’m getting to make my Broadway debut as a principal, playing a pretty cool part, so there are probably people keeping an eye on me to see if I’ll trip up,” he says. “But I’m not going to trip up, so don’t worry about me,” he says with a Mick-like grin. “I’m going to be the best I can be.” Though his ultimate goal is “to have a family and be able to get 10 scripts on my desk, pick one, fly out and shoot [a movie] and come back to see my kids,” he's thrilled with where his career is right now. “I get to play basketball and be on Broadway in a smart piece of theater that's like nothing else out there.”

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