In show biz circles, Theodora “Theo” Silverman is what’s known as a quadruple threat. The 11-year-old New York native and resident is a singer, dancer, actor and musician.
Theo has been performing publicly for four years since portraying an orphan in an off-Broadway production of “Annie Jr.” but she’s been studying ballet, tap dancing and music since age 4. Theo played the role of Ivanka in the 2016 national tour of “Once: The Musical” and also appeared in an episode of ABC’s “What Would You Do?” during the show’s 2016 season.
Based on the 2003 Jack Black film, “School of Rock: The Musical” is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s high-octane Broadway and West End hit about a wannabe rock star turned substitute teacher who transforms a class of prep school students into a mind-blowing rock band.
Jmore recently caught up with Theo, who plays Katie, the band’s bassist.
Jmore: How’d you land this role?
Theo: I have been playing bass, ukulele and piano for nearly three years. My first audition for “School of Rock” was while I was on tour with “Once: the Musical.” Two of the “Once” cast members taught me the bass songs for the audition. I did not get the part but the “School of Rock” casting directors encouraged me to keep learning and playing bass and they would see me again for the next round.
I took their advice, joined a band and took bass lessons when I returned home from the “Once” tour. Being cast as Katie Travis the bass player in the band in “School of Rock” was my dream role and I am now living my dream, working with the most fabulous cast and team ever.
What’s so special about “School of Rock?”
“School of Rock” shares an amazing message with all people, especially kids. Believe in yourself and follow your dreams. Don’t let anyone or anything discourage you, hold you back or not allow you to be yourself. Be who you are inside and [who you] want to be in the world.
Are you and Katie anything alike?
We are both very “chill.” We are not shy girls, we just like to “take it all in” before deciding to “let it all out.” We are inspired by music and through the bass guitar, our energy and personality shine.
Are you a rocker?
I am a true rocker at heart! You should hear me belt out tunes in the shower!
What’s it like being onstage?
Every show feels like it is the first time. We are excited to rock out with a new audience in every city. We are a team and a family and feel so connected to the audience.
Most challenging role so far?
Katie is my most challenging role as I have to act, sing and dance all while holding a heavy bass.
Your favorite part about performing?
I love the storytelling of playing a role and being surrounded by so many talented people. I learn something every day at “School of Rock.” Also, entertaining an audience and seeing them enjoy what we do is unbelievable.
Any cool hobbies?
On this tour, my cast mates and I love making slime and slime videos. I just got an acoustic guitar so right now I am rather obsessed with learning to play and writing songs. In every city [to which the show travels] we do cool local activities. My personal hobbies are crocheting, trapeze, surfing in the summer and creating hair and makeup videos.
Ever been to Charm City before?
I have never visited Baltimore before and can’t wait to see the city and perform at the Hippodrome.
After “School of Rock,” what’s next?
I will go back to New York City, start sixth grade, spend time with my best friends, family, our dog, Jojo, and continue to study, train, audition and perform.
Billy Treger is a Baltimore-based freelance writer.