Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.
From Royal Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII are onstage eager to remix 500 years of historical heartbreak into an euphoric celebration of 21st-century girl power!
This is the story of the acclaimed musical Six having its Philadelphia premiere at the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ Academy of Music through Sunday, April 9..
Terica Marie portrays Anna of Cleves in the clever national tour of Six. Her previous roles are Light It Up in regional theater, Hairspray as Loraine on TV, and roles in The Chi and Chicago PD. A singer-songwriter her original music is available on all streaming platforms.
Zan Berube as Anne Boleyn is thrilled to be making “herstory” in the North American Tour of Six. She has a BFA from The University of Michigan and appreciates the support from family and friends as she tours near and far.
Read on for a look at two of the Six actresses in the throes of helping to re-write history from the female perspective in the tour of Six.
What attracted you to this show?
Terica Marie: I saw myself in the character when I first heard of this musical and listened to the song Get Down, I very much was like, “This is a song that I can see myself doing eight nights a week. It’s very good.” For me, it became a dream role. I pursued the auditions and by the grace of God it stuck, and we’re here.
Zan Berube: I listened to the concept album and it just was such a blast. Then when I actually got into the room to audition for the show the creative team was so inspiring, so welcoming, so warm, and so fun to work with.
I remember leaving the audition and calling my mom and being like, “Mom, I have no idea how it went, I blacked out but all I know is I want to work with this group of women on this show.” I think that’s really telling to the creative team and the process. That’s why I wanted to work on the show. I wanted to work with people.
I feel like some of the other shows that I’ve seen lately, including & Juliet, are a modern twist in history, and why that’s important for you as actresses, as role models, and as young women.
Terica Marie: The beautiful thing about this story is that not only do we get to tell some history, but then it also allows there to be a modern twist on it. Which allows you to be able to see a reflection of yourself in the performers, in the queens.
I think that that’s the most beautiful thing about this show. When I saw it, I was inspired because I saw someone who looked like me or saw someone who vibed the same way that I vibe. They get to take control of the audience in such a powerful way. Women supporting women is just a truly rare thing that we don’t see a lot in this industry. The fact that this show brings that beauty to life is truly amazing.
Zan Berube: With these modern retellings of history you get stories that need to be told that was never really told from the female gaze and the female perspective. Instead of Henry’s history and his point of view, you have these queens telling their stories from their point of view, what happened, and maybe what would have happened in history if they were at the forefront of their own lives instead of him.
Well, I’ve heard that said many times, that if women ran the world, it would be more peaceful and more kind. What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue this because we all know it is quite a roller coaster.
Terica Marie: I agree with you, it’s not an easy road. The biggest takeaway that I have learned is although you receive a no it’s not a no, it’s just a not yet. You have to understand that your journey is your journey and everyone else has their own. Releasing the idea of comparison and just knowing that you are worth it and your time will come.
This is something that you’re passionate about. You love it and so if that’s the case the only way it doesn’t happen is if you give up on yourself. If you continue to believe that you are more than capable of achieving what it is that you want it’ll happen. Maybe not immediately, but it will happen.
Zan Berube: Yeah, I think standing in your own strength is definitely a key part in this industry. We do hear nos, but also, we get ghosted a lot. Sometimes you don’t hear back from your agents or the creative team so you don’t even get an answer. I think just standing in your own strength, knowing your own worth and your own power, and if your heart really burns for it you’ve just got to keep on keeping on. And surround yourself with good people who know how to uplift you.
And give yourself little rewards after these hard times. After auditions, I used to get a nice donut because donuts make me happy. So, whatever makes you happy, make sure you have that sprinkled on top.
When did this tour start?
Terica Marie: The tour started for us with rehearsals in August and then we opened up in Las Vegas in September.
Do you feel that you wanted to go back to history books or research or read anything that complemented the show but that wasn’t actually in the show?
Terica Marie: Absolutely. We had to do our own research and do presentations. With that being the case, we read different articles, we watched The Tudors, we did all the research that we needed to do in regards to what actually was told in history. Then with that information, we allowed it to inspire and influence our characters and what we brought to the table.
Zan Berube: Yeah, even after these research projects I think history is so interesting because especially with Anne’s story it’s a lot of secondhand information and you never really know what happened to her iconic V-pendant necklace, who got that possession after her beheading, what was the statement she said right before she passed away after she got beheaded, it’s all hearsay. I was really curious because I saw so many different interpretations of what actually happened in her life. I like to get to the truth of things, but really especially with this being so far in the past in our history you kind of have to formulate what your truth is for her story. So that was really fun.
Is this your first tour?
Zan Berube: Yes, for both of us.
What are the great parts and what are the tough parts?
Zan Berube: Well, I can tell you one of the tough parts is not having a stable mattress to come home to every night. It switches every week so my body is always trying to adjust, like what is stable, what is consistent. I’m not going to lie, that’s been one of the hardest parts. I wake up in the morning and I feel like my bones are fused together. My body just hasn’t gotten used to being on the road yet. But that being said, if that’s one of the worst things I’ll take it.
Terica Marie: I think for us the greatest thing is the community that we get to travel with on this journey. We literally are a family and it’s a great environment on and off stage. To be able to have that, it doesn’t make this feel like work, it just makes this feel like something that we are all passionate about and we get to do it together.
Zan Berube: Yeah, I agree.
Do you have ties to Philadelphia? Have you each been here before?
Zan Berube: I’ve never been to Philly. I’m looking forward to it.
Terica Marie: No, I’ve never been to Philly, either, and I’m also looking forward to it.
The food is amazing.
Terica Marie: Okay, wonderful. We love food; that is our thing.
Do you enjoy going to mom-and-pop places for coffee when you are on tour?
Zan Berube: Absolutely. I think the exciting thing about Philadelphia is we’ll be there for three weeks, so we’ll have an official two Mondays off. We’ll get to go around town, find our local coffee shops, and our local sandwich shops, and really get to explore some of the beauty of this city. That’s why I’m really looking forward to Philly. We get a lengthy stay, so I’m grateful for that.
What’s the difference between being in this show and dreaming about being in a show like this?
Terica Marie: Great question. It’s exciting on and off stage. I get to be an audience member sometimes at Six depending on what’s happening. I get those same feelings when I’m watching my girls on stage do the show. But then when you’re on stage it’s that excitement plus adrenaline plus the joy that comes from the audience as the seventh queen in the room. It’s truly mind-blowing, honestly. For me, I call our show time the Super Bowl. We’re getting ready and gearing up for a huge performance every night and we’ve got to put our best play forward.
Zan Berube: It was always such a big dream of mine to be in a long-running show, whether that be a tour or on Broadway, regionally. I think my family has been through that journey with me. I think the biggest gift and the biggest reward is getting to share this amazing, incredible opportunity with the loved ones who’ve been with me since the beginning. I feel like my favorite moments are right before the curtain opens and I know I have someone in the audience that has been with me from the start to where I am right now I get to perform this show and they get to be a part of it with me. I think that’s one of the incredible things about making this dream a reality.
Have family members of each of you seen the show as you travel around?
Terica Marie: We both had our families come opening night in Vegas. We have some amazing moms and dads who really support us and lucky are also on tour with us. Both of my sisters are currently in the other room, so they are very supportive and it’s truly an amazing experience to be able to be like, dude, not only do I get to perform every night and make my dreams come true, but mom was here tonight, this is a little more exciting.
Why do you encourage my readers to come if they’ve never seen it? Or to come a second time if they already saw the show on Broadway?
Zan Berube: I think the fun thing about Six is each cast creates a completely different version of the show that you think you know. So, if you think you know Six, you’ve been listening to the cast album but you’ve never seen it, you are in for a treat. You are going to be the seventh queen; the audience is a part of the show completely. Their energy changes what’s on stage, which I think is super fun. Then if you’ve seen the show and this cast it will be new with whoever’s in the audience. But, if you’ve seen the show with a different cast, seeing these new queens they have so many different takes on who Anna of Cleves is, who Anne Boleyn is. Each cast is completely different so you’re in for a treat no matter what.
What do hope to do when the tour is over?
Terica Marie: I am also a singer-songwriter, so that’s my first love. I have been able to release some amazing music, available on all streaming platforms. When the tour is over I would love to pursue that full-time while also doing a little bit of TV and film on the side.
Zan Berube: I would love to continue creating new works in musical theater and TV and film. I want to create a role from the ground up and be able to call something my own. Then, yeah, if you see me on the stage in Philly or New York that would be amazing.
Tickets are available at kimmelculturalcampus.org.
Experience the “her-story” of the wives of Henry VIII on the @KimmelCC (Twitter)/@KimmelCulturalCampus (Facebook / Instagram) from 3/21–4/9! For more information, visit kimmelculturalcampus.org.