It is a pleasure to welcome Kenzie Banta back to the BCT stage after most recently being seen in Oklahoma! this past July. I was given the opportunity to sit down with Kenzie recently and ask her a few questions about being in the spotlight.
Born in Montana and raised in Ohio this talented young actress came into the world as a part of a theatre family. Her mother, Anne Kirklin, has directed, acted, and held a board seat here at BCT over the years. Originally Kenzie tried to get involved in anything but theatre because, like any teenager, she did not want to become her mother. However, she quickly found out that “sports were not for her”. On a whim she decided to audition for the spring musical at Brookville High School last spring, she was cast, and in her words it was “all downhill from there”. Kenzie has been in three shows back to back and has already been cast in her next role as Aphrodite Gonzalez in the BHS production of Lotto Date. Miss Banta will be graduating in the spring and plans to continue her acting career as well as pursuing a degree in education and the arts with the ultimate goal of working on Broadway or in film.
Kenzie has really enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of Pygmalion where she plays the role of Mrs. Pearce, a character roughly fifty years her senior. She draws inspiration for the role from her mother and her own life. Mrs. Pearce is in charge of keeping the Higgins household under control, which is a role Kenzie herself takes on when her mother is traveling for business. She states that although she is a bit like her character, she is not quite as stern as Mrs. Pearce. On stage she is thankful for the assistance of Mike Henry, who plays the role of Henry Higgins. She says he is definitely her favorite scene partner because he is patient and is willing to wait and give her time to compose herself when she struggles on stage, without getting frustrated. She added that the entire cast has become like a second family with her “show sister” Rebecca helping her with hair and makeup backstage as well as always being there to offer her support and encouragement.
Kenzie is not only an amazing actress but a kind and loving young woman who truly has the best interest of others at heart. I asked her what in a hundred years from now she hopes people remember about her and she said, “I hope people remember that it was always my goal to bring people together. I never want anyone to feel left out when they are around me. There are no small parts and it takes a team to put together a show.” I am incredibly blessed to have had the pleasure of working with Kenzie and I cannot wait to see where this vastly talented young woman will go.
Until next time, from behind the curtain