By Jeff Garrett
Randolph native, Lea Sevola, continues to blaze a hot trail in the acting world as she tours the
country playing Vivienne Kensington in the stage production of Legally Blonde.
True to form, Sevola takes this role as seriously as she has so many others in her career, even those
overseas while touring Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt where she sought out roles others may have
been frightened to pursue, all in the hope of using a specific character to change the lives of others.
It is no secret that women’s roles in the aforementioned countries is quite defined and restrictive. In
her brief time acting overseas, she wanted to turn heads and change thinking in her roles.
“Theatre’s unique ability to appeal to the human experience and to promote empathy gives it the
potential to help exact real change. A huge goal in my career is to continue to see how my work can
advance social justice causes and impact the world for the better,” Sevola says.
Sevola’s achieving a microcosm of this – or big microcosm if you will – in Legally Blonde by
challenging Kensington to reach the limits and some in her character’s design and appeal.
Sevola, a product of Randolph Middle School and High School, County College of Morris
(CCM) and Ithaca College, seeks out female empowerment roles, and savors the transformation
Kensington undergoes between the first and second acts.
“To me Vivienne starts out severe, rigid and unyielding for a reason – she has a set
plan for her life and career so anyone who gets in her way – or who appears like they will without
working for it – is an obstacle she will overcome,” Sevola says of her character.
Vivienne comes off as “mean,” she thinks. The character Vivienne transforms into the second act as her priorities change over time, specifically the severity in how she tackles her career goals, turns into support for others by the end.
While Sevola’s resume continues to expand with chance-taking roles, she credits a portion of her
success to some entities to her early beginnings in theatre.
“Matt Swiss at the high school and Professor Marielaine Mamon at CCM were great mentors and
supporters in my adolescence. I owe a lot to them for challenging me and helping me grow.”
Asked about where she sees theatre as a Performing Art in 2022 America, Sevola’s response is historical
and brews with optimism.
“It was a scary time between 2020-2021 when theatre was shut down, especially for those of us who
make this our living. But there is a millennia-old art form, one that has persisted through war, natural
disasters and pandemics. It has the power to adapt to changing times and circumstances of any kind
and it will only continue to do so,” she feels saying that the new work she’s witnessing now is a direct
reaction to the last two to three years.
“I hope that the theatre industry, and those that consume it, will see how productive and meaningful
diverse stories are so that we can continue the important work of telling them. Theatre shows us what
it means to be human, and every day we get closer to portraying that truth for every human.”
Legally Blonde – The National Tour will be traveling through the United States starting up again this month before reaching the State Theater of New Jersey in New Brunswick from April 28-30, 2023. For tickets or more information, visit www.blondeontour.com.