Hannah Kevitt ’23 said growing up she would watch Macy’s annual Thanksgiving parade on TV. On Nov. 20, she had her first on-site rehearsal for the 2023 parade — where she will be performing alongside the cast of “Back to the Future: The Musical.”
“It’s wild. It feels like a very out of body experience, for me at least,” Kevitt said. “You think it's going to be one way … because you've watched it on TV, and then you're living it and you're suddenly in the driver's seat.”
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Nov. 23 in the streets of New York City and broadcast on NBC. “Back to the Future: The Musical” is not the only Broadway production that will be performing in the parade. “How to Dance in Ohio,” with Elon junior Marina Jansen, is also on the lineup.
Kevitt — who graduated from Elon University in May and made her Broadway debut in “Back to the Future: The Musical” shortly after — is part of the show’s ensemble, as well as an understudy for the role of Jennifer.
“I've never been a part of something like this and ‘Back to the Future’ has such a huge fan base,” Kevitt said. “People know who I am who don't know me in real life, which is a new experience for me.”
Kevitt said her Elon training made singing, dancing and acting second nature — something she said was essential in a show this technical, where the actors have to be aware of the set moving around them. According to Kevitt, many of the set pieces in “Back to the Future: The Musical” are automated, so the actors have to be in the right places at the right times.
“I've never been more convinced that someone should get their BFA before doing this because it was no joke,” Kevitt said.
Kevitt said she was able to watch the show from the audience for the first time Nov. 18. She said she was sitting next to a family with kids and enjoyed seeing their reactions to the show.
“Seeing the musical in the whole form is really amazing because I'm just this little tiny puzzle piece,” Kevitt said.
“Broadway has been my dream for as long as I can remember. But it is also, at the same time, a job and it is hard,” Kevitt said. “Eight shows a week is no joke. … It is the hardest job I've ever had, but it is also the most rewarding job I've ever had. It is some of the most fun I've ever had.”