Richards Dreams of Broadway

Everyone grows up with goals that we could only dream about and wish to become a reality. But one William Peace University freshman from Charlotte plans on making her dreams a reality.
Ever since Deanna Richards was a little girl, she had a passion for the stage. Richards played Kate in the WPU production of “The Wild Party” in the fall, and is also in the upcoming play “Assassins.”
Richards started singing in her church choir when she was only 9 years old. She always jumped with excitement each time that she got to stand on stage.
“Everyone knew she had that natural talent as soon as they saw her get on stage,” said Camille Richards, Deanna’s mom.
Richards soon started taking dance lessons so that she could perform more than just on Sunday mornings at church.
The stage was where she felt like she was most herself. Richards found her identity through music and through performing it on the stage. One thing that Richards loves about performing is how she can share her love of it to other people.           
“My mom enrolled me in theater camp when I was young and ever since I went, I never wanted to leave. I knew theater was my passion,” says Richards.                                                                                                                                            
This camp made her realize that she wanted to be a part of the theater program for a long time, whether through teaching theater or performing it.
As soon as her school offered a theater program she signed up to participate in whatever shows that she got a role in.
Throughout middle school and high school she was in around 15 theater productions. That isn’t including the countless singing, acting, and dancing lessons she had to take.
“Everyone thinks theater is just a hobby, but it is not easy at all. You have to put time and sweat into it just like any other sport,” says Richards.
In high school, she had to work even harder to make sure she stood out from the rest.
Richards big dreams are to make it to New York City’s Broadway stage.
RIchards says the hardest thing about being a part of the theater program is balancing all that comes along with being in a theater production while making sure she makes her school and grades a priority.
“With theater you have to work on your audition pieces to make sure you sound good so that you can actually be in the show,” says Richards.
She also says that if she gets a part in the show, she has rehearsals most likely every day. She would have to take a lot of time to memorize not only her lines in the script, but also the songs she will have to sing, and dances.
She knew the first step to making her broadway dreams come true would be to practice throughout high school and be accepted into a college theatre program, which happened when she started at Peace this fall.
“I remember how excited she was when she auditioned for William Peace’s Theater Program and got accepted,” says Camille Richards. “She worked so hard for it and definitely deserves it.”
Richards says it has been hard to adapt to college life away from home while working hard in theater and school work. But Richards is adapting very well. She has already gotten a lead role in her first college musical this fall, which is unusual for a freshman. She says it will be worth it once she makes it to the Broadway stage.