Q&A with Elena Quach
Meet Elena Quach
Elena expresses that’s she is so freaking excited, and that her students are ecstatic about her being cast. Upon telling them on the first day of school that she would be missing some of the winter session, her students excitedly exclaimed, “Miss, this is so much fun, you are like famous!” Elena shared she was happy to send other local auditioners to our most recent round of auditions, and the consensus of the local audition community is that they finally felt seen and validated as performers. Seth will perform in ATC’s production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley as Lydia Wickham.
Q&A: Elena Quach –
Q: Tell us a little about your background, what got you into performing?
A: I got into dance relatively late as a dancer. I started off learning Folklorico and that opened the door. I was one of the youngest members of the company at age 14 and decided I wanted to take dance to the next level. I began taking ballet classes at Ballet Tucson and instantly fell in love. Inspired by Misty Copeland, who also began her career at 14, I felt it was doable to start late and still become a professional dancer.
Q: That is exciting, so how did you transition to a professional dancer?
A: At 18, I auditioned for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and got admitted into their year-round program! I was even able to learn the iconic choreography titled “Revelations.” I feel lucky to have trained in amazing techniques that have heightened my dance career like Horton, Dunham, and Martha Graham. These choreographers inspired me, and to learn their repertoire and technique, it was an easy decision to quit my job at Olive Garden and fly out to New York City to pursue my career in dance.
Q: You are also a teaching artist for a fantastic program. What program do you teach?
A: I am one of the teaching artists for the OMA program (Opening Minds through the Arts) and have taught for that program for the last three years. The programs send teaching artists like me into a core classroom, such as social studies, and we integrate arts into that core subject. For example, if the core classroom is social studies and world history, we can use cultural dance to help enhance the lesson plan. I have this project where students read the slave narratives from the Library of Congress, and they must choreograph one of the narratives into dance. Most of the kids are children of color who get to explore these stories through use of their bodies.
Q: So, when did you decide to delve into acting?
A: I didn’t really start acting until I had Evie. So that was four years ago. I was contacted by my cousin, another local actress, who suggested that I audition to be the mute in the Fantastics with Winding Road Theatre. My daughter Evangeline was three months old. I hadn’t left the house, and I was ready to move my body and got cast on the spot. I even performed the mute while en pointe! The pandemic has really helped me solidify my acting chops, and I am excited to get started with Pemberley.
Q: Speaking of Pemberley, how excited where you when you received the call to offer you the role?
A: When Sean called me and offered me the part, I broke down. I was going through a point where I wasn’t sure I should continue pursuing this career and thought maybe I should take some time off. As I was thinking that in my head, that is when I received the email to film the sides for the call back.
Q: What is a secret talent that you have?
A: I am a closet improv comedian. When I was studying in New York, I would do improv sets at UBC for free beers.
Q: What is your hope for the new Arizona Theatre Company?
A: To tell the stories of the communities that support it.
Q: Why are you happy to work for our organization?
A: I grew up going to shows at ATC. I saw Pride and Prejudice here in elementary school. I remembered thinking, this story is so juicy so cool and is written by a woman, how awesome! I was so inspired by the play. I dressed up as Jane Austen in second grade. I feel it has come full circle playing a Jane Austen character on the ATC stage. Also, I told Sean this, but there is a little yellow building on the corner next to ATC across the street from the police department, in the cathedral. That was my grandpa’s print shop. And I remember as a kid I would sneak in and try to see the load ins and load outs because they fascinated me. I always thought Arizona Theatre Company was the best thing in Tucson.