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Teen sets her sights on Broadway

  • Written by Deborah Stone
MeowsetMeowset Abbett has been intrigued by music since she was a child. She is fascinated with its universal qualities and the way it affects and influences people all over the world.

The Inglemoor High School senior has been studying music and its many applications for many years, as a pianist, composer, singer, actress and dancer.

"It’s my passion," she explains, "as well as a wonderful way to express myself. Music has played such a major role in my life and has brought me such joy. But, it has also presented me with some of my biggest challenges."

The Bothell teen plans to pursue a career in music and theater arts to achieve her ultimate goal of appearing on Broadway.

Though she knows she has an arduous road ahead of her, Meowset is determined to succeed.

And she is making steady headway towards actualizing her ambitions.

Among her many accomplishments to date include five championship titles at the Puget Sound National Association of Teachers Singing Competition, three superior ratings for the Northlake Region at State, a nomination for Best Actress at 5th Avenue’s High School Musical Theatre Awards and the winner of the 2009 Vocal Scholarship Award for Lake Washington Singers. The local teen participates in both the jazz and chamber choirs at Inglemoor High and has been actively involved in the school’s theater department, where she will soon be gracing the stage in the role of Belle in the musical, "Beauty and the Beast."

Meowset is no stranger to playing the lead, as last year she was Rosie Alvarez in Inglemoor’s production of "Bye, Bye, Birdie."

"I’m very excited about the upcoming show," she says. "I’ve loved Disney movies ever since I was a child. There’s something so magical about them. And people of all ages, from young kids to adults, love them. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has such a fun script, with some very memorable characters and the music is wonderful. Our production is going to have bright, eye-catching costumes and sets that I think will really be impressive. And the cast is very talented."

The show, under the helm of directors Kevin Bliss and Teresa Sullivan, involves approximately 50 students, mostly juniors and seniors. According to Meowset, many of the members have worked together before in prior productions.

"It’s a focused group, but we also like to laugh and have fun," she adds.

The cast has been practicing everyday for two hours after school, but this will soon change. Two weeks before the show opens, students will spend upwards of six hours a day in rehearsals.

"It takes a lot of cooperation between students and directors to put on a good musical production," comments Meowset. "There also has to be a good balance between the music and the dramatic elements. It can be challenging to integrate the two together. And then, of course, there are the technical aspects, which are very important."

The teen has been very pleased with the instruction she has received in the drama and music departments at IHS and is complimentary about the teachers and the students she has worked with over the past few years. She has also studied her craft at Seattle Children’s Theatre, Studio East and the International School of Classical Ballet Dancing, as well as with various private vocal coaches.

Meowset confesses that she gets nervous before shows, but once she’s on stage, it all disappears.

"I love entertaining people and sharing the joy of music and theater," she says. "And as soon as I walk on stage, all I want to do is put on the best performance I can."

Graduation looms ahead for the poised 17 year old, who is already looking forward to the next chapter in her life.

She hopes to attend NYU or Northwestern University next fall, where she will continue to work towards making her dreams become reality.

"I know I’ll be nostalgic when it comes to thinking about Inglemoor after I graduate," comments Meowset. "This place holds a lot of good memories for me, but I know I’ll be ready to move on when the time comes."

Inglemoor High School’s production of "Beauty and the Beast" opens February 5 at the Northshore Performing Arts Center in Bothell and will run for two consecutive weekends.

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