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5 Questions With Nicolas Garza

Nicolas plays Sonny in In the Heights.

Garza,-Nicholas---Headshot---WebNicolas is from Helotes, Texas, and is making his Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park debut. National tours include Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol Live! Regional theatre credits include In the Heights (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma) and In the Heights, Peter and the Starcatcher, Evita and A Christmas Carol (ZACH Theatre). Other credits include Forever Plaid (Mountain Repertory Theatre); Avenue Q, Altar Boyz and Godspell (Jean’s Playhouse); West Side Story (The Georgetown Palace Theatre); and three summer seasons at SeaWorld San Antonio. He has a BFA in Theatre Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. Please visit Instagram: @nicolasgarza

How long have you been acting, and where did you receive your training?

I’ve been involved in theatre since eighth grade, so I’ve recently hit my 10-year mark! If you would call those middle school plays acting… unsure. I continued through high school and knew I had to go to college for something theatre-related. I attended The University of Texas at Austin where I graduated in 2016 with my degree in Theatre Education. From junior year of college on, I’ve been extremely lucky to have worked pretty consistently in different parts of the theatre world (performing, teaching, working backstage, etc.). Since my degree was in education, I found I received a lot of my training out in the real world working on shows alongside some incredibly talented professionals.

Sophia Macías and Nicolas Garza in In the Heights. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

When did you know you wanted to be an actor, and what’s your favorite part of the job?

I think I’ve always wanted to be a performer/entertainer of some sort, but I’d say midway through high school I knew I wanted to truly give it a shot.

My favorite part of the job? So many things! I’ve made all of my closest friends through this job, so for that I’m forever grateful. But recently, traveling all over the country and performing in so many places has been thrilling.

What is your all-time favorite role you’ve performed, and why?

I’d honestly have to say that Sonny has been my favorite. This show has been the gift that has kept on giving. I first did the show during my sophomore year of college playing the Piragua Guy and understudying Usnavi. Then, I played Sonny in the summer of 2017 in a two-theatre co-production and now I’m getting to revisit the role with three different theatres in this co-pro.

Sonny is just so fun to play! I’ve learned that he’s so multidimensional and has such a great arc (in my humble opinion). Getting to be witty, goofy, caring, intelligent and sing some of the highest tenor notes I’ve sung is a blast. This show is just so special, and I love getting to be a part of sharing this story with audiences all over the country.

What role have you been dying to play, and why?

I’m ready to step into Boq in Wicked at any moment now. It’s been a dream role for so long and I’m itching to get into that audition room in New York City! In the future, Leo Frank in Parade is a major dream role, but I’d be happy to play Frankie Epps or the Confederate Soldier in the meantime. Finch in How to Succeed in Business is also on the shortlist. Recently, Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and after seeing Michael Urie’s performance off-Broadway, Torch Song has been added to the list. I’m also looking forward to originating a role or two!

Yassmin Alers, Nicolas Garza and Ryan Alvarado in In the Heights. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

What has been the most interesting part of working on In the Heights so far?

Personal growth has been the most interesting. I’ve also seen so much growth within myself in this role based on the actors I’ve had the chance to work alongside. Working with great actors makes you a better one, and this group has absolutely pushed me and has helped me grow as an actor.

This cast can also endure anything. It’s been such a joy to work with and be surrounded by these people for the last few months. This is one of the most supportive, caring, extraordinary group of people who consistently exceed expectations and have such a passion for this show and each other. It makes coming to work such a joy. I feel so supported onstage every night with this company of actors and know that every night will be something fresh and exciting.

To learn more about the Playhouse’s production of In the Heights, visit our production detail page.