Tuesday, October 23, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 33

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on December 6th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 40

Mollie Dobbs turns childhood acting bug into blossoming career


Actress Molly Dobbs, an Arroyo Grande High School graduate, is currently performing the role of Ellie in the Pacific Conservatory Theatre’s (PCPA) production of Freaky Friday. She recently talked with the Sun about her career and her origins as a performer.


Sun: How did you get started in theater?

Dobbs: I grew up in Arroyo Grande and went to Arroyo Grande High School. I started off doing competitive Irish dancing. That was me and my family’s hobby; we traveled the country and the world competing. That’s how I really got started, and then from there I got really into ballet. One day my dad said I should audition for SLO Little Theatre and so I did. I was lucky enough to get it and I have never stopped acting since.


Sun: What was your first big role at SLO Little Theatre and what was the experience like?

MD: I was Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. I was 12. What was so amazing about it was there was this aspect of the ballet that I had been doing—I didn’t know what to call it—where you would be onstage at the end of, say, A Christmas Carol, and the fake snow would be falling and you would have to stand there and pretend that fake snow was real snow. And it was just the most wonderful feeling to me to transcend the world of the stage and footlights and really attempt to believe the snow is real. I tried to describe this to my dad, and he said, “Well, honey, you love acting! That’s what that is, that’s acting.” And I thought that sounded like fun. So he said, “You should audition for this show.” We showed up at the theater for my first audition and I had dirt on my face and I was wearing overalls; I showed up in costume like the complete plebeian I was. I had no idea what was going on. I got the job, and it was amazing. It was my first show and I didn’t know much. I just remember really loving being someone else and loving convincing people of what I was saying.

Local actress Molly Dobbs’ career has included stints at the SLO Repetory Theatre (formerly SLO Little Theater) as well as a lead role in PCPA’s Freaky Friday. Dobbs heads to New York City in January to begin a series of auditions for major talent agents and theaters.


Sun: What did you do after high school?

MD: From the age of 12, musical theater was all I wanted to do. For my undergraduate degree I went to the Royal Conservatory of Scotland. Then I took a year off and did some regional theater. Then I went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and got my master’s in classical acting. The program is very competitve. There were about 30 of us in the program. It’s a year-long program ... it’s pretty full-on. We were in 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week.


Sun: What brought you back to the Central Coast?

MD: I was working in Tennessee on a summer stock production. I had previously worked with Eric Stein, PCPA director. We knew each other pretty well, and he had always been very mentoring to me. He came to my showcase for my master’s program and I told him I would love to come back—I had previously been in The Sound of Music. He sent me an email and said I would be good as Ellie in Freaky Friday. We did some auditions and I worked on a lot of materials because they weren’t quite sure what kind of actress they wanted because the material was so new. So I did a lot of work on different songs. As soon as they said they were interested in me I said, “Sign me up!” I identify a lot more with Katherine in the play as Ellie because I’m more of a type A person myself. So that was a challenge for me, to try imagine what it’s like to not have any idea what you’re doing and not care.


Sun: What are your plans after the production?

MD: I have a couple of auditions on the horizon in various parts of the country. I would love to come back and work at PCPA. As of now I’m flying to New York because I have a slot in the All in One Auditions, which is a big group of theater auditions that happen in Manhattan. It’s 1,005 who originally applied, and 95 are chosen to audition, and I got one of those slots. I get to audition for a bunch of people who I really admire, so it’s great. I’m really excited.


Sun: What are your lifelong ambitions—do you want to stay on stage or do you want to pursue film?

MD: Theater has always been my first love. It’s such an important art form because there is so much conflict and pain in the world. Getting a bunch of people who are not likeminded in the same room and telling them a story is something no other art form can do. I’ve given my life to theater, and I would be excited to move to New York and dedicate myself to it.


Arts and Lifestyle Writer Rebecca Rose can be reached at rrose@santamariasun.com.

Weekly Poll
Do you want to see more or less enforcement on unlicensed cannabis cultivators in Santa Barbara County?

More, get rid of it!
Less, growers need time to comply.
Not sure.

| Poll Results