UA alumna Cecilia Iole lands major acting roles in Chicago

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Courtesy Chris Lundhal | The Daily Wildcat Cecilia Lole performs as Ariel in "The Little Mermaid" this summer.

Cecilia Iole has been anything but a starving artist since she graduated from UA with a BFA in musical theatre. 

She has been everything from Ariel to the Ghost of Christmas Past in theaters all across the country, though.

“I was in a production of ‘Aida’ at Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix when I was a freshman in high school,” Iole said. “[That’s] when I realized I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.”

In the last year, Iole moved to Chicago and signed with Gray Talent Group. She has landed major roles all over the immensely theatrical city. Haunting audiences, she played the Ghost of Christmas Past at Quest Theatre Ensemble’s  showing of “A Christmas Carol” and Olive in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”  at Steel Beam Theatre. 

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Iole idolized Julie Andrews as a child, but now Laura Benanti, Kelli O’Hara, Audra McDonald, Sierra Boggess and Kristin Chenoweth now inspire her. 

“They are consistently pushing the envelope and raising the bar while staying true to themselves,” Iole said.

This summer, Iole had a stint in Grand Lake, Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre, where she was ensemble in “Rock of Ages,” Caroline in “Titanic: The Musical” and Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” 

This February, Iole will play Johanna in  Paramount Theatre’s production of “Sweeney Todd” in Aurora, Illinois. Iole’s booming vocals and radiant stage presence will surely not disappoint any audiences. 

Her somewhat eclectic choices for roles that she would love to play one day give some insight into her acting style and inspiration. 

“Dream roles would be Clara in ‘Light in the Piazza’ or Miranda in ‘The Tempest.’” 

Iole—perhaps as all actors do—wants to ultimately end up in New York, the pinnacle of stage acting. But she said she is thoroughly enjoying her time in Chicago and will let her talent and charisma take her where it will. 

“My favorite part about this career is that you can never really plan where you’re going to end up—you have to be OK with letting life take you where it will.”


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