Soon a whole new audience will be introduced to rising star Elizabeth Teeter. The young talent will enchant audiences this spring as she sings of “dead moms” and “beautiful sounds” starring in Beetlejuice at the Marquis Theatre.
Taking on the role of troubled teen Lydia Deetz, this isn’t the actress’ first time on the boards. She was previously seen on Broadway in The Audience, The Crucible, and Mary Poppins, and New York audiences may remember her for her turn as Lily alongside LaChanze in the world premiere of The Secret Life of Bees at Atlantic Theater Company.
Before she and the ghost-with-the-most share the stage when Beetlejuice returns to Broadway April 8, Teeter answered 5 questions with Broadway Direct, telling us the inspiring cast she gets to work with now, how Beetlejuice is both fun and touching, and her favorite spots in Central Park.
1. What inspired you to become an actress?
I grew up in an artistic household, always running around singing and playing pretend. Both of my parents are in the arts: my dad is a theater professor and my mom is a dance educator. However, I always preface that they’re the opposite of stage parents—never pressuring me to do any of it. I was the one begging my dad to bring me to shows and eventually asking if I could audition. He tells me that at [age] five I would lean over to him and whisper “I think something bad is going to happen” whenever tense music started playing over a scene.
Like many kids, I made up elaborate imagination games with my sisters throughout childhood and had my dad play every Disney villain imaginable. I think when I first started performing it just felt like an extension of my games, but with real people to respond to. Something about hearing the downbeat of the orchestra just made me want to cry—and I knew I wanted to be a part of it somehow.
2. Who in your field inspires you?
I’m so lucky that I’ve had the chance to work with many incredible people. The list of those in my field who inspire me is endless—but I always have to say, Helen Mirren. Not only did she teach me so much about being an actor onstage, but she really taught me how to be a leader offstage. Her grace and kindness are what I truly look up to. Despite her high status, she valued every company member and really set an example of how to be a leader.
I have to add that every single person at Beetlejuice inspires me. Their talent, kindness, and support go above and beyond what I could have hoped for, and I’m honored to share the stage with them all.
The last person I’ll mention is my dad. Though he doesn’t perform much anymore, he is such a brilliant teacher and director who brings so much love to everything he does. I love you, dad! There are so many more…
3. What will audiences be most excited about seeing in Beetlejuice?
This show is just so. much. FUN. The spectacle, design, and performances, are out of this world! You will absolutely be entertained, and under all of the wildness is an incredibly touching story that I think many can relate to in some way.
4. What is something you’ve learned during the shutdown that you will take with you?
I think before the pandemic, we were all moving so fast. When forced to slow down—I really had the time to explore other passions and creativity that I didn’t allow myself to before. Every day I spent hours dancing in my driveway, writing music, and editing little short films. It felt like my meditation. I want to carry that love with me as I start performing again and getting back to life. Sometimes as an actor, we can feel limited with the opportunities we are given, when the truth is…art never stops! I also just feel so much more gratitude coming back. Every moment counts. I mean—we get to do a musical during this crazy time?? How lucky is that? There is so much going on in the world that is bigger than this. To bring some joy to audience members and feel the joy of doing what I love with the people I love is such a gift.
5. What is your favorite NYC spot?
Oh, this is hard. I feel very uncool that I don’t have some groovy little place that I can name off the top of my head. I know it sounds boring—but Central Park. Sitting near Belvedere Castle with a picnic and hearing the jazz musicians play is my favorite thing to do in the spring.
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