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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


BFA musical theatre major talks life as a student actor

Logan Cook
Marissa Muntor, a junior studying musical theatre, poses for a photo on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Park Student Union.

Now in her third year, Marissa Munter is pursuing a degree from UA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Musical Theatre program. The actress, singer and dancer currently stars in the UA Repertory Theater’s play “Born Yesterday.”

The talented student talked to the Daily Wildcat about her journey so far as a UA BFA student.

DW: How long have you been acting? Have most of your roles been involved with musical theater?

MM: I started acting when I was 10 years old and performed mainly in musicals. I acted in one play [not a musical] before I came to college.”

Do you enjoy the UA’s BFA musical theatre program and what it offers its students?

I love it. I mean, it’s why I came here. I have about 16 people in my class. It’s definitely a competitive program but it’s nice to have small classes—it’s a big reason why I picked the program.

Who are your favorite actresses and how do they inspire you?

My three favorite actresses right now are Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt and Tatiana Maslany. Chastain is a huge role model for me because I think her body of work is so cool and she does everything. Emily Blunt I think is an incredible person, she seems so down to earth and is a really smart actress. Maslany is a really awesome actress and also has a great body of work.

What has been the hardest role you have taken on so far in your career?

The one I’m doing right now. Her name is Billie Dawn—she is a blonde bombshell from Brooklyn, so not me at all. The character Dawn [is] the hardest for me because of her accent—didn’t come in with a Brooklyn accent so I had to learn it.

In the beginning of the play she’s kind of known for being a little dumb—the story is she gets smarter as the play goes on. We did a lot of voice work in terms of how her voice is in the beginning and how it changes by the end.

How do you balance rehearsals, auditions, schoolwork and a social life?

Its hard. It’s a lot of just time management, I guess—as cliché as that sounds—but it really is.

What is the most challenging thing about being an actress?

I think the vulnerability of it, because the nature of our job is to be vulnerable on stage and that’s kind of scary. Even though you’re playing a character, the character is still you, so that can be hard depending on the content you’re doing.

Also the nature of the business, hearing “no” a thousand times before you hear a “yes,” is difficult.

What is a fun fact that people would be interested to know about you?

I can’t smell skunks. I can’t smell them at all. Any time there is a skunk around I never smell it. It’s very odd, but I’m not complaining about it.

Where do you see yourself in the future, career-wise?

I would love to be in Broadway shows. I think Broadway is definitely the big dream of mine. I would love to get into the film industry as well, though. The body of work is very different in both fields, but I think its so interesting. But theater and Broadway are definitely my dream careers.

Catch Munter as Billie Dawn in the show “Born Yesterday” at the UA Marroney Theatre every weekend from now through Dec. 4. 

RELATED: Q&A: Hinds’ Ana Perrote talks the band’s upcoming Congress show, finding success in a foreign country

Follow Victoria Hudson on Twitter.

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