Lights, fiddle, action! WARWICK. Carol Beaugard lands the role of Yente in the National Broadway tour of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

WARWICK. Carol Beaugard lands the role of Yente in the National Broadway tour of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’


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Photos



  • Carol Beaugard




  • Provided photos Warwick resident Carol Beaugard is touring with the National Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof." She plays Yente, the matchmaker. She appears center stage in this photo, carrying a large handbag on her arm.



Additional Information

• For tickets and information, visit www.FiddlerMusical.com.
• For more information on Carol Beaugard’s career, the tour and future projects, visit her web site at www.carolbeaugard.com.


For as long as she can remember, Warwick performer Carol Beaugard wanted to be an actress.

Her wish continues to be fulfilled with various roles, the most recent and biggest break playing Yente in the national Broadway tour of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“My mother said I was singing before I could talk, and I was acting out scenes as a young girl,” Beaugard said. “I began doing shows at age five in church and did my first large community theater show in junior high as a villager in ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ We still own the video of me in that production.”

Destiny

Beaugard’s theatrical career journey is interesting, for it seems that theater was always her destiny.

“I wanted to study theater while I was in high school, and went on to study voice with Bernese Elkin, who had many young clients on Broadway, so she was grooming me for Broadway and opera,” Beaugard said. “However, my parents weren't eager for me to go to college only to study theater, so I attended Emerson College in Boston, which had a good theater program, but also a mass communications and speech department."

There, she became involved with the school's radio station, WERS-FM, and later worked in professional radio in Boston on WGBH, moving to New York to work for ABC-TV.

Matchmaker

However, she always wanted to act, so she auditioned for summer stock and regional theater. With encouragement from her husband, she decided to pursue acting professionally by doing Off Broadway shows and films in New York City.

“I took a full time job in order to put myself through acting school, and graduated from the two year Meisner Acting Program at the William Esper Studios,” Beaugard said. “Upon graduation, I pledged I would do a national tour within a year, and I landed the role of Yente in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ with the Broadway Revival First National Tour within a few months of graduation.”

In the play, Yente is the matchmaker — one of the most iconic comedic roles in musical theater.

“The matchmaker, historically, was a very prestigious character in the shtetl, second only to the Rabbi in importance, and is revered and respected as the person responsible for arranging marriages so that the family and the culture could continue,” said Beaugard. “Our Yente is definitely created to be a more well-to-do business person, full of pride and self awareness of her stature within the community.”

The challenge

Because Yente is one of the most iconic comic female characters in musical theater, it’s been a challenge for Beaugard because everyone has an impression on how this character should be played.

“At first, we worked a great deal on learning the history of the time and the role of the matchmaker by doing extensive research and historical readings,” Beaugard said. “Many amateur productions have her performed very larger than life, because many of her lines are funny, but our director, Barlett Sher, wanted us to remain very grounded in reality, so I play her with a lot of pride and deliver the lines with a very truthfully comic delivery that gets big laughs from the audience.”

By the second act

However, by the second act, when events have transpired that offer more concern for the village, Beaugard plays Yente with wisdom and pervading concern that shows she knows the full implications and consequences of their situation.

“The audience still laughs, but they also see the strong perseverance and enduring hope that I bring to the role,” she said. “I've been so touched by the many people who approach me at the stage door after the show to tell me that they thought I was so funny and were so moved by the depth I give her; it's a wonderful compliment and I'm so happy they appreciate my portrayal.”

Heritage

Beaugard is also very proud that, to her knowledge, she is the first Hispanic actress to play the role of Yente in a Broadway National Tour.

“I am Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican, born and raised in Washington Heights,” she said. “My mother grew up in Spanish Harlem and dreamed of being a singer, and she brought me to see Broadway shows since I was five-years- old. She encouraged me to be on Broadway someday and told me I was Latina, but I could do anything and play any role I wanted.”

The language of plays

Theater and film have always been central to Beaugard’s life since acting is at the center of her universe and the essence of her being.

“It seems that when situations pop up, I often quote lines from plays or films that are appropriate to the situation; I'm always observing people, making notes of types and gestures, and storing them for possible future character work,” she said. “When not on stage, in rehearsal, or on set, I'm always answering casting calls, studying online, or taking classes in the city. Currently while I'm traveling on the road, I'm taking an online acting class and take classes in the cities we visit.”

Performance and personality

The performing arts are important because they not only inspire critical thinking, they elevate one’s soul and connect people to each other and to the universe, Beaugard felt.

“Art activates critical thought, empathy, sensitivity, awareness, and inquiry; art feeds the soul and all school systems should fund all artistic programs,” she added. “Without imagination, we wouldn't have the ability to invent, to challenge, or to explore—our future depends on the kind of innovations that only an artistic mind can create.”

Beaugard said there are personal learning experiences to be gained from being involved in the performing arts because actors have to find relatable connections in every role.

“I've had to look at the good and the bad aspects of my personality and life journey because if you play 'the villain,' you may not actually be a 'bad person,' but everyone can relate to being angry or frustrated or depressed, and you have to dig deep into your soul to find those feelings and draw on them,” Beaugard said. “I've learned to be a better person actually through acting because I have to look deeply at my motivations and actions, and when you do that, one becomes incredibly aware of their own behavior; it's a great life exercise to constantly analyze oneself and work to improve oneself based on inner observations.”

On the road, living the dream

Although acting can be a difficult life full of rejection, Beaugard is constantly having enjoying herself.

“I always wanted to tour with a show, so I'm living my dream and having so much fun,” she said. “I'm using this experience as an intensive acting lesson and am using my growth as an actor in preparation for a future role on Broadway and as a guest star on TV and in film.”

With this tour, Beaugard is traveling to 32 cities across nationwide and making it a point to make the most of every moment.

"I’m going to visit historic sites, museums, gardens, and attractions in each city,” she said. “I've made friends with local people I've met on the road, and mostly have observed that we're all united by love, and the desire to cherish friends and family.”





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