It was Broadway at Baldwin as Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez conducted a workshop for the cast of the upcoming Middle School musical James and the Giant Peach. Mandy has performed the roles of Elphaba (Wicked), Nina (In the Heights) and Angelica (Hamilton). She has been a part of Hamilton since 2016. On television, she had recurring roles in Madame Secretary and Quantico.
During the workshop Mandy shared her own personal story, from singing along with Broadway recordings with her grandmother to starring in a string of Broadway hits. She also shared valuable insight to her process of developing a character, working through the rehearsal phase and finally the performance itself. A highlight of the workshop was Mandy leading the Middle School cast through her warm-up that she does before every performance of Hamilton.
Mandy also shared fun stories about her friendship with Lin-Manuel Miranda, and her experience in working with him as he developed the hit musical In the Heights. She also shared news of the upcoming release of her first young adult book, Fearless, which tells the story about a group of young thespians who must face the ghost haunting their theater. The workshop closed out with questions from students, to which Mandy commented, “these are all excellent questions!”
Cast member Piper Skoglund ’26 said about the experience, “It was really cool to learn how she became a Broadway star.” And fellow cast member Daphne Yorks ’26 added that her favorite moment was the Q&A, where Mandy “answered our questions about acting and theatre.”
The students will take the advice of this Broadway star into their own rehearsals over the next few weeks. James and the Giant Peach will be filmed and released to the Baldwin community in May.