The Music Man tells the humorous tale of Harold Hill, an outsider conman hoping to dupe a town through a marching band scheme. In High School Musical, Troy Bolton defies the norm of high school society and participates in both basketball and theater. Harold Hill and Troy Bolton; they are the bookends of Megan Roddy’s theater career. From her first role as Amaryllis in The Music Man at age 6 to her most recent portrayal of piano-playing Kelsi Nielson, and all those in between, Roddy has shined in the Woodbury theater scene and onstage at her school, Saint Agnes School in St. Paul. It has been, after all, a dream since the very beginning. “I have always been singing since I could,” she says.
Roddy comes from a local family that she says is “very theatrical,” making her own transition to the stage fairly seamless. In fact, she didn’t audition for her first role in The Music Man; the director plucked her from the crowd. “I always loved singing, and getting that opportunity was exciting and special,” she says.
The show was only the beginning for Roddy’s own high school musical career. From Oklahoma! and White Christmas to Hello Dolly and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Roddy’s roles span wide. In fact, she has performed in every Saint Agnes’ spring musical since the program’s founding 11 years ago.
Saint Agnes, located in the Frog Town neighborhood of St. Paul, is the last parish-based K-12 school left in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. What makes the Saint Agnes theater program special, Roddy says, is that kindergarteners through seniors are encouraged to participate. This allowed her to experience something truly magical, she says, as a fourth grader. That year, Saint Agnes was on the brink of closing. It stayed open, thanks in part to that year’s production of Beauty and the Beast. The spring musical raised over $2 million for Saint Agnes. “I think it was really special, being a part of something that everyone worked so hard for, thinking this might be our last show at Saint Agnes,” she says.
Donna May, the choir director at Saint Agnes who has taught Roddy since grade school, says Roddy’s love for musical theater is infectious. “I have been blessed to watch her grow into a fine, intelligent musician,” May says. “She is very talented, but humble enough to take direction.”
In addition to her roles at Saint Agnes, Roddy has also performed countless times with Ashland Productions in Maplewood as well as the Woodbury Community Theatre (WCT) where she appeared onstage in Stars on Broadway II with her mother Tricia, older sister Elizabeth and younger sister Catherine. Last summer, she took her talents behind the scenes as a production assistant for WCT’s Bye Bye Birdie and also appeared as Mayor Matilda in Ashland’s All Shook Up. But her extracurricular involvement doesn’t end with theater.
Roddy spends her time, when she’s not cheering at sporting events as the captain of her school’s cheerleading squad or volunteering as co-chair of the service club, participating in other fine arts programs. She sings in Saint Agnes’ choir; their largest fundraiser each year is a sing-a-thon, where they sing for five hours and ask for pledges. The program selects several students to record a CD; Roddy was on it last year.
Additionally, Roddy and another student brought back Art Night, a student showcase that features artistic talent. “It’s a positive experience because you don’t get judged, it’s sharing what you love to do,” she says. Following graduation this spring, Roddy plans to pursue a degree in both business and musical theater or music. “It’s what I love to do. It makes me super happy, and it’s something that I connect with people friendship-wise and my family. It’s something that connects all people.” Wherever she may go or whatever she may do, one thing is for certain: Roddy’s future is a bright one. “This young lady is going places,” May says.
Don’t miss Megan Roddy’s performance in St. Agnes’ spring musical! Visit stagnesschool.org for details and ticket information.