Macy McKown has been engrossed in musical theatre since she was just a little girl.
Between ballet, tap dance and singing, the Norman native has always had her eye on the big stage. Her parents noticed she took a liking to performance, as she performed in shows through the Oklahoma City University summer program and the Sooner Theatre here in town.
Her dream was truly realized over a decade ago during a family trip to New York City, as she took in a show on Broadway.
“ … I saw “Anything Goes” with Sutton Foster, which is a huge tap dancing musical, and I remember at intermission the lights came up and I was sobbing,” McKown said. “I looked at my mom and said, ‘I’m going to be on Broadway one day.’”
After graduating from the Classen School of Advanced Studies, McKown moved to Anne Arbor, Michigan, to attend the University of Michigan and enroll in the university's musical theatre program at the advice of a mentor.
In late August, McKown got an email notifying her of the deadline to audition for BroadwayWorld’s Next on Stage: Dance Edition competition. She figured she would give it a go.
“I knew it was virtual, and It was kind of an application process, [where] you turn in a video and the judges picked a certain amount of people to put on the website to continue to the voting round,” McKown said.
McKown went through all five rounds, showcasing various styles ranging from a Strutt to a tap dance to the famous tune Singin’ in the Rain, to an interpretive style dance to a Carol Channing soliloquy about housework, all of which received positive feedback from the judge panel.
The evening the judges chose the winner among the finalists, McKown was getting tacos with her friends at a restaurant in Anne Arbor. She said she would rather be out with friends than sitting in her apartment glued to the computer.
After looking down at her phone and seeing she was chosen as the winner, her friends erupted with cheers and, in a state of excitement, she stood up, exclaiming she had won the competition.
“Everyone in the restaurant looked at me like I was crazy, but it was a moment I will never forget,” McKown said.
As the grand prize winner, McKown received $1000 to donate to a charity, shoes from LaDuca — a brand popular for their flexibility and durability among theatre industry professionals — and a scholarship to Steps on Broadway’s summer program.
The next step for McKown is to graduate and move to New York City to pursue her dream.
“When [I was younger], I told my mom I’m going to go to the University of Michigan to major in musical theatre, be on Broadway one day and win a Tony Award,” McKown said. “I have one of those things checked off, so hopefully the other two will follow suit.”
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