Westfield girl fulfills grandmother’s prediction


When Mary Kate Tanselle would go to Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre as a young girl with her grandmother, she enjoyed the Live Theatre for Kids productions – and the juice box and treat that always accompanied them.

ND 0627 Mary Kate Tanselle
Mary Kate Tanselle will perform as one of the little pigs in “““Shrek, The Musical””.” (Submitted photo)

“We went for many years,” Tanselle, 12, recalled. “My grandmother said to me once, when we saw Cinderella there, that she’d be seeing me on that stage someday.”

The wise words of her grandmother came to fruition when Tanselle made her debut as one of the storybook Three Little Pigs in the current production of “Shrek, The Musical” at Beef & Boards.

“I have a passion for musical theatre so I am always excited to perform in a show. I love the music of Shrek, one of my favorite animated movies and musicals,” she noted, adding she particularly likes the humor of this musical. “My favorite types of shows are those that take an audience out of their daily tedious routines and lift their spirits.”

Tickled pink to play Little Pig #3, Tanselle pointed out she’s had many fun roles in such shows as “Annie Jr.,” “The Sound of Music” and “The King and I” at Sycamore School, where she is a seventh-grader. Her résumé also includes the title role in “The Trial of Goldilocks” and Gracie Shinn in “The Music Man” at Booth Tarkington Civic, plus an appearance as a guest artist in “Gypsy: A Musical Fable” at Anderson University last fall.

“I like having the chance to put myself in someone else’s shoes and try to get her (or his – I played a boy once too!) message across,” she said, admitting she’d like to be on Broadway someday, or perhaps a doctor or lawyer. “I love the audience too.”

And she is looking forward to one special person being in that audience.

“I wanted to be a part of this show as much for (my grandmother) as for myself. I can’t wait for her to come see the show,” she said.

Tanselle is the daughter of Jack and Laurie Tanselle of Westfield.

For more, visit beefandboards.com.