Allison Newton: Theatre on repeat

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Allison Newton: Theatre on repeat

Sisam Shrestha, [email protected]

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Allison stepped on the hay cart, fixed her blonde curls and put her hands around Frankenstein (“Fronk-en-steen”). After setting herself in front of the glaring stage lights, Allison Newton yodeled for a good minute as “Inga,” Dr. Frankenstein’s love interest. 

Newton, a vocal performance junior, plays the female lead in Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein,” directed by Walter Allen. The musical provides a comical twist to the age-old story of “Frankenstein.” 

Playing “Inga” has kept Newton very busy nowadays. She’s juggling her time between early morning horse riding, school, evening practices for the musical and a part-time job at the theatre’s box office. However, the 20-year-old talent is loving life as it is.

“Allison conquers anything she encounters, whether it’s a role on stage or an academic project, with a tenacity that I think really indicates a certain star power,” said Leah Huber, a vocal performance sophomore.

Huber was the co-lead in the ULM production of “Bye Bye Birdie” along with Newton.

“I absolutely love theatre and what I do. That’s what drives me: my love for it. If someone isn’t committed to it as much as I am, it would be a burden to them,” Newton said, reflecting on her busy schedule.

McKenna Giovingo, a ULM vocal performance graduate, describes Newton as an “ideal cast member.” Giovingo helped direct music for some youth theatre shows that Newton was part of.

“She’s always prepared, knows the show backward and forward and is there to help, in any way she can, to make the show as great as it can be,” said Giovingo, who plays Elizabeth Benning, Dr. Frankenstein’s fiancée.

Newton’s professional career took off with “Hair Spray,” a Tulane summer lyric. So far, she has acted in “Pippin,” “The Merry Widow,” “Die Fledermaus” and many more.

Nishant Shrestha who played alongside Newton in “Pippin” is still willing to work with her any day.

“She always has a positive vibe and is very cooperative. Once, I accidentally hit her face with a prop but she was still very nice to me and tried to make me feel less guilty,” said Shrestha, a music senior.

Newton describes “Inga” as one of the most fun roles she has done.

“Inga is very funny. She looks like Marilyn Monroe. She gets to yodel and tap dance. I get to do a lot of acrobatics,” Newton said.

Apart from theatre, Newton also barrel races most weekends anywhere from East Texas and West Mississippi. Newton is in her 10th year of barrel racing.  She has also competed twice in Miss Louisiana and won the “Women in Performing Arts” award both times.

“I believe Allison’s greatest strength is her dedication to each role. I think she does a fantastic job of splitting up her time and not spreading herself too thin,” said Killian Hicks, Newton’s boyfriend.

From practicing lines in her trailer at races to finishing her vocal assignments between rehearsals, Newton doesn’t let anything come between her and theatre. Catch Newton and the rest of the “Young Frankenstein” cast at the Strauss Theatre Center on Sept. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m.