Age & Hometown: "Old enough"; Austin, TX
Current Role: A funny and beautifully sung Broadway debut as jealous ingenue Phoebe D’Ysquith in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.
In Search of an Audience: A proud native of the “great state” of Texas (its likeness is tattooed on her derriere!), Lauren Worsham grew up seeking attention. Her mother insisted she channel that need for an audience into something positive and signed her precocious daughter up for community theater. Worsham caught the acting bug, but headed off to Yale determined to find a backup. “It really is like a disease,” she laughingly says of performing. “I just couldn’t get away from the theater.” Facing an empty house at the Edinburgh Festival in Adam Guettel's Myths and Hymns gave her the confidence to pursue her dream. “I thought, if no one is in the audience and I am still enjoying myself, I think I can make a living doing this.”
Finding Her Voice: After earning a degree in Spanish literature (the “backup”), Worsham moved to New York and found her gorgeous soprano in demand at New York City Opera as well as in regional productions of The Light in the Piazza, Master Class and more. Meanwhile, she met musician and theater composer Kyle Jarrow at a party. “We fell in love, head-over-heels, and talked about getting married after dating for four months,” she recalls. “We’ve been together almost five years. And we have his-and-hers tattoos!” The couple also formed a rock band, Sky-Pony, as an alternative to theater. “I didn’t think Broadway was going to happen for me,” Worsham admits. “I feel very lucky. It’s taken the steam out of feeling sorry for myself.”
A Killer Debut: Perfectly cast as Phoebe, Worsham describes her Gentleman's Guide character as “a quirky ingénue. She seems like a fairytale princess, like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but underneath it, there’s a weirdness.” The biggest challenge in watching her Tony-winning co-star Jefferson Mays juggle eight roles? “It’s exhausting! He is so physical, and my favorite parts on stage are just sitting back and watching him work.” Worsham compares her “little jewelbox of a show” to another period piece, TV's Downton Abbey. “It's comforting because it's set in a more beautiful time, but at the same time, Gentleman's is like Dexter,” she says. “There's a serial killer on the loose!”