Promotional photo courtesy of the URI Theatre Department, taken by Randy Osga

At just 9-years-old Kate Rocchio will be starring in the role of Jane Banks in the University of Rhode Island Theater Department’s upcoming production of “Mary Poppins.”

In preparation for her “Mary Poppins” audition she worked with vocal and acting coaches and practiced frequently.

“I practiced every morning before school and after school,” said Rocchio.

All the effort she put into preparing for her audition paid off once she found out that she was cast as Jane. Rocchio said that when she found out that she would be playing the role of Jane she was pleasantly surprised. For a moment she was shocked, but was overall ecstatic about the news once it sank in.  

“Mary Poppins” features a great deal of dancing in the show which means that there are a lot of dances the actors are required to learn. Fortunately, Rocchio loves dance rehearsals. She gets excited for them because in most of the numbers her character has a special part in them.

Rocchio is a huge fan of musicals. She loves acting and singing so much that it’s hard for her to decide what past musicals have been her favorite to star in. Rocchio has previously had featured roles in productions with Theater by the Sea, Ocean State Theater, Stadium Theater.

Rocchio says that her mom is a big help when it comes to memorizing her lines in the show. While she reads her lines as Jane her mom reads the lines of the other characters that are in that specific scene. This helps Rocchio get off book for the show. At first she found this difficult to do but now she finds it to be easier after practicing a lot.

When asked about how she feels working with the other cast members who are significantly older than her, Rocchio said “I’m sort of one of them.” Her mom, Shana Greene, chimed in saying that right from the start the rest of the cast has gone out of their way to be kind to Rocchio and to always include her in what they do despite the age difference.

Rocchio is very excited for opening night on April 20. She has a good feeling that the show is coming together and she thinks that the sets and costumes are going to look great during the performance. Her favorite costume that she has is a purple dress that she wears for the song Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, because purple is her favorite color.

Throughout the process of working on “Mary Poppins,” Rocchio said she learned what measures and beats are when it comes to singing. She’s also learned what the difference between the various vocal parts are such as what it means to sing a soprano or an alto part.

Make sure to keep an eye out for Rocchio in “Mary Poppins,” especially during the song “A Spoonful of Sugar” as that’s her favorite song in the show.

The Performances of “Mary Poppins” will be held in the Robert E. Will Theater located in URI’s Fine Arts Center on April 20, 21, 27, 28 at 7:30 p.m. and on April 21, 22, 28, 29 at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=4bb3d8fab0b89fbd09a1224fe918b402&vqitq=983982b5-7ea6-4cd0-a066-4bea0e5da173&vqitp=8a699399-9594-48b0-a92c-1d97ae96ccb3&vqitts=1503344306&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=f94143e3241fbb42ac6ca29f7abda3d9