Interview: Maggie McKenna (Camp Rock)
While perhaps not quite as famous as its Disney cousin High School Musical, Camp Rock launched the careers of the Jonas brothers and Demi Lovato.
On 17 October, Camp Rock, presented by Stage Masters, will be premiering in Melbourne as a stage musical. We had a quick chat with Maggie McKenna, who plays lead character Mitchie Torres.
She is one of a group of main cast, who have gotten “very close,” and Maggie says that it’s been a great experience making friends with people who have similar interests. The main cast’s credits include shows such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Annie and The King & I. Altogether, the cast comprises roughly 60 people, which is “initially quite difficult, just because there are so many people.” However, the young performer says that in the end, they’ve come together to support each other “like a big family”.
Maggie got into musical theatre at an early age, always having a love and penchant for singing and dancing. She has participated in school productions and different performing groups, citing her favourite musical as the rock musical Spring Awakening which is set in late 19th century Germany. She also had been in a few shows with Stage Masters before, which meant that when auditions for Camp Rock came up, she thought: “I might as well have a go at the lead.”
Camp Rock was released in 2008, and Maggie laughs that although she “probably wasn’t in the target age bracket,” she loved it, along with most Disney productions. The stage musical is “an amalgamation of the first and second movies,” with all the characters the same as in the films. Maggie plays Mitchie Torres, an aspiring musician who rallies her fellow Camp Rockers to an “ultimate showdown”.
In regards to the similarities between Maggie and her character: “Mitchie is very positive and very determined as a character,” Maggie explains, and “also loves to perform”.
Maggie is still in high school, so her immediate goals after Camp Rock are very normal: she just wants to finish school, “and hopefully get into a performing arts uni.” After that, “professional musical theatre and acting. Anything like that.”