In conjunction with the upcoming premiere of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again opening in theatres on July 20th, Toby’s Dinner Theatre is bringing the ABBA-infused musical Mamma Mia! to the stage this month. Running until September 9th, Mamma Mia! is the story of a daughter’s quest to discover her father’s identity, which brings three very different men from her mother’s past back into her life. Baltimore OUTloud recently chatted with Maggie Dransfield who plays daughter Sophie in the performance.
“Audience can expect more than just an ABBA concert.” Began Dransfield. “That’s something that Mark [Minnick, director and choreographer] has focused on and something that we have all focused on as a cast. We want to bring you the story of Mamma Mia!, the story of a mother and a daughter and the trials they go through, but the excitement of reliving the past. Since this production is theatre-in-the round (where the audience surrounds the stage), it’s a very submersing experience, and is my favorite way to perform. It’s a lively exciting story that’s fueled by the music of ABBA.”
Dransfield, a native of Columbia, Maryland, began much of her young life performing in musical theatre. “I’ve performed since I was in fifth grade,” Dransfield laughed. “Since I played Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” Dransfield went on to meet artistic director Toby Orenstein when she was 15 years old. “She cast me as Amneris in Aida when I was part of Toby’s Teen Professional Theatre with the Columbia Center for the Theatrical Arts. Eventually, I went on to be part of Shrek and Children of Eden, as well. That was when I really knew I wanted to pursue acting for real. [Toby] gave me a chance when she didn’t really know me, and I feel that I was honored to be cast by her. The training and acting through the song really showed me that was what I wanted to do.”
After attending West Virginia University for acting, which Dransfield emphasized is a “hidden jewel” and “up-and-coming acting school,” she moved to Boston for a few years and continued acting and fringe theatre performances. Eventually Dransfield made the decision to return to where her acting had begun. “My boyfriend and I eventually decided to return back to this area and put some roots down. I felt I needed to come home to my base. I decided to audition here at Toby’s, and found that I got the part after three call backs. It’s really become almost a full circle, but this time I have the firm acting base that I didn’t have before.”
Dransfield has brought a lot to her character of Sophie in this performance:
“I bring truth and honesty to Sophie. As a young woman myself, getting to play this woman who is a couple of years younger than I am, I to the role honesty, joy, and enthusiasm. She’s in such a tricky situation, dealing with her three dads and her mother. Sophie has so much heart and so much excitement, and I really want to bring that out in the performance. It’s more than just a kitschy story. It’s a coming-of-age story for her character, and that’s what I want to shine throughout the performance.” t
For more info on Mamma Mia! at Toby’s, visit: Tobysdinnertheatre.com.
- Since 2011, arts writer Frankie Kujawa has covered a wide scope of entertainment stories and celebrity interviews. From the late Carrie Fisher and LGBTQ icon George Takei to comedians Lily Tomlin and Kathy Griffin to performer Idina Menzel, Kujawa’s candid interview ability brings readers past the byline and into the heart of the story. His unbiased previews of Baltimore-Washington’s theatre scene have allowed readers an inside glimpse of today’s most popular local and national performances. A Baltimore-native, Kujawa is proud to call Charm City his home.