Diana Exclusive Interview with HADESTOWN Musical Cast Member Shea Renne

November 20, 2021

Senior Writer: Diana Brang Scott


Tickets on Sale September 24


Hadestown, the winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best New Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, will come to Detroit and will play the Fisher Theatre, November 23 – December 5, 2021.
Hadestown is the most honored show of the Broadway season. In addition to the show’s eight Tony Awards®, it has been honored with four Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical. The acclaimed new musical is by celebrated singer-songwriter and Tony Award® winner Anaïs Mitchell and developed with innovative director and Tony Award® winner Rachel Chavkin. Hadestown marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics, and book, and is the fourth time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat.

Its almost as if Hadestown writer and composer, Anaïs Mitchell predicted key elements of the world’s most devastating global crisis when she began the composition of this show more than a decade ago. The show’s world on stage is one of deep suffering. The wealthy and powerful reign supreme the poor go hungry the seasons are becoming more unstable and love is lost. In our own real world,
unfortunately there are so many parallels- COVID-19 wreaks havoc all over the globe, systematic racism forces persistent protests, border security and “the wall” fuels contentious debates, unemployment skyrockets, and climate change happens in real time before our eyes. These challenges engulf our real world beyond the theater as much as they do in this musical’s dark side, sparking the show’s revolutionary unforgettable score. Anaïs Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Rachel Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and an immovable defiantly hopeful theatrical experience for its audience.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Michigan’s own Shea Renne who was born in Ann Arbor, grew up in Bloomfield Hills and attended the University of Michigan. Shea has been cast as a “Fate” in the show and is also the understudy for the character of Persephone. Shea said, “I am so excited to be a part of this female led show. I play one of the 3 Fates, (my cast mates are Belén Moyano, and Bex Odorisio) we are not the narrators, but we help weave the story. I love being a Fate, we are adorned in sparkles, beautiful turbans and are weaving goddesses full of power and control, we rule the destiny of not just the humans, but also of the gods.” Hadestown follows two intertwining stories — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back, it is an unconventional adaptation of Greek mythology sung-through New Orleans style jazz and folk music.

I asked Shea what the most challenging part of her role was, she said “Singing and playing the accordion at the same time was a challenge for me at the top, and simultaneously dancing with the heavy instrument trying to keep the beat while moving.” I asked her if she had previous experience playing the accordion prior to the show, she laughed and said, “No, I never even touched an accordion before in my life!” She went on to say, “I can play basic piano chords, so I wasn’t too nervous, now I am loving it and having so much fun with it!”

Hadestown is filled with many messages that directly impact our real would today. I asked Shea what she thought the audience will be thinking about on the drive home? She said, “I think the biggest message of the show is hope. Hope for humanity in dark times and hope for a better outcome. Also, to lead with love.” Her voice changed pitch and with gratitude she went on to say, “I also think the audience will leave feeling grateful and happy that theatre is back. I hope they leave knowing that it is not just the cast, and stage management, but also the crew and so many people behind the scenes putting a show together and how grateful we all are to each person who comes out and sees the show.”

Come out and support Shea and the entire cast of Hadestown! Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-982-2787, and in person at the Fisher Theatre Box Office. Follow Broadway In Detroit on Facebook as well as on Instagram and Twitter

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