OUAOMT 5Qs 1200x450
OUAOMT 5Qs 1200x450

5 Questions with Gabrielle Beckford and Morgan Whitley of One More Time

Once Upon a One More Time is currently enchanting audiences, one Britney Spears hit at a time. With the pop star’s hits to drive the narrative, beloved fairy-tale princesses discover their own feminism. Gabrielle Beckford and Morgan Weed Whitley star as two of the iconic princesses: Rapunzel and Princess Pea, respectively.

Ahead of the new musical’s big opening on June 22, the pair sat down with Broadway Direct to answer five questions and shared their inspirations, the excitement Britney Spears’s tunes bring to Broadway audiences, and their favorite NYC spots.

1. What inspired you to become an actor?

Gabrielle Beckford: I was approached by the head of the musical theater department at my high school, and she cast me in the school musical. On the first day of rehearsal, I had that once-in-a-lifetime feeling where I couldn’t see myself doing anything else but this.

Morgan Weed Whitley: My teachers in high school — Ross Hindley, Susan Stein, and Jim Ruttman — inspired me and empowered me. All three of them are practitioners at this highest level of this wild art form. They shared their knowledge and passion with me, and they taught me technique, style, and a love for creating characters and stories that I’ve carried though my career and life. 

2. Who in your field inspires you?

GB: To name a few: Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Audra McDonald, Patina Miller, Cynthia Erivo.

MWW: My colleagues inspire me every day to work at the highest level. My cast and crew are kind, creative, and hilarious — and, more than that, they are supportive in a way that I’ve never experienced. We take care of each other on- and offstage. Together, we’ve built a show that we’re really proud of. I have always focused my career on creating new works and growing the form of musical theater for new generations, and I am so grateful to share this show with our audiences.

3. What will audiences be most excited about seeing in Once Upon a One More Time?

GB: Fairy-tale characters singing the tunes of Britney Spears!

MWW: I think audiences will be excited to see all of these fairy-tale characters in one story together. I think they’ll be surprised by how we use Britney’s magical music to tell our heartfelt story — and also make people laugh until their stomachs hurt!

4. If you didn’t need to sleep at night, what would you spend your time doing?

GB: Binge-watching iconic TV shows and films.

MWW: I barely sleep at all; I’ve become my character. Lately, during previews, my favorite activity in the wee hours of the night is to binge-watch RuPaul’s Drag Race with my sweetheart of a husband, Sean, while we cuddle our dogs. Happy Pride! 

5. What is your favorite NYC spot?

GB: Anywhere with a nice skyline view and nice vibes. One place in particular was The View Restaurant & Lounge.

MWW: P.S. Kitchen, on West 48th Street and 8th Avenue, founded by April Tam Smith, is my favorite New York restaurant! The food is incredibly delicious and earth-conscious, and the decor is beautiful. The icing on the cake is that P.S. Kitchen donates 100 percent of their profits to charities to empower the pursuit of social justice and generosity everywhere. It’s the perfect restaurant for a preshow or postshow feast.

Learn More About Once Upon a One More Time