As kids all over America head back to school, Broadway.com decided to ask our favorite Broadway stars to look back at their own years in the classroom—and share a school picture! Four-time Tony nominee and Nice Work If You Can Get It star Kelli O’Hara sent us the cutest photo imaginable, along with self-deprecating memories of growing up in Oklahoma, including her annual back-to-school perm.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Florence Birdwell at Oklahoma City University. She is my mentor and voice teacher and has had a bigger impact on my life than any other teacher. Until I met Florence Birdwell, I had never even considered making singing a real career. Now, I can't imagine doing anything else.
What advice would you give to your school-age self?
Depending on what age we're talking about, I would go with the old, "Don't worry, it gets better" mantra. But no matter what age I was, I wish I could say, "Just enjoy all the free time."
In school you would have been named “most likely to…”
... sing somewhere, anywhere, and all the time.
What song sums up your school experience and why?
"I was country when country wasn't cool" (when I was in middle school).
What’s your favorite back to school item?
Maybe a cool, new bag to carry my cool, new stuff in. Back then I would have gotten a new perm or something, and that would have been super cool.
What class did you dread and why?
Any math class, especially trigonometry.
What is your most embarrassing school moment?
I changed schools at the beginning of my junior year of high school. (What's more embarrassing than that, first of all?) I was invited to a junior/senior volleyball game, and I was sitting on the side, digging my toes in the sand looking around for some new friends to make. I thought I was digging my toes into a stick or something, but when I looked up, I realized I was playing footsie with the cutest senior at school. He laughed at me.
In which extracurricular activities did you participate?
Basketball, soccer, band, choir, drama, student council.
Describe your school-age self in three words.
Dramatic, sensitive, hopeful.
Click here for more School Days memories from your favorite stars.