Alumnus on national tour of “Cinderella” shares experience, advice

Alumnus Giovanni DiGabriele met with Chestnut Ridge Middle School Drama Club to recount his journey in theater

Giovanni DiGabriele (center) posed with members of the Chestnut Ridge Middle School Drama Club on Feb. 10th

It’s hard to say who was enjoying the visit more, Chestnut Ridge Middle School Drama Club students or 2011 Washington Township High School graduate and CRMS Drama Club alumnus Giovanni DiGabriele. Without question, the mutual admiration was no act. DiGabriele, who is currently on the national tour of Broadway Across America’s musical production of “Cinderella,” accepted the invitation of CRMS Drama Club advisor Rob Scardino, fielded questions and offered advice before taking in a run-through of the club’s upcoming production of “Rock of Ages.”

“Getting work in musical theater is a process,” DiGabriele told the students, recounting how he started with summer theater camps and worked his way up. “It’s important to try a bunch of things and to get a range of experience to bring to the stage. Everyone has his or her own journey. For me, I didn’t study musical theater and didn’t have a dance background, so I worked on those areas.”

DiGabriele (right) had a captive audience at his former middle school.

In addition to his national touring debut, DiGabriele has performed in “Mamma Mia,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Evita” with the Regional Maine State Music Theater; in “9 to 5” and “Memphis” at the Walnut Street Theater; and in “Legally Blonde” at the Fulton Theater.

“Theater is a tough business,” he said. “You have to have the right mindset, because there are so many things that mess with your self-esteem. Don’t judge your journey off someone else’s. Do it all and do whatever you can to make your experience in theater, at whatever level, the best it can be.”