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Volunteer Spotlight: Molly Bruening

Molly Bruening lives in Quincy with her husband Brandon and their four children, Simon, Cecilia, Sam, and Gus.  She spends her days homeschooling her kiddos and teaching writing online to other elementary aged students from different parts of the country.  With her family, she has been involved at Quincy Community Theatre since 2016.  While she has mostly been a behind the scenes volunteer, she recently made her QCT on-stage debut as Mrs. Phelps, the librarian, in Matilda the Musical. Molly is also a current QCT board member.

How did you first get involved with QCT? What was your first show? Describe the experience.

I first became involved at QCT in 2016 when my daughter Cecilia attended Basic Training for the first time.  I loved theater in high school and really thought that my kids would enjoy it as well.  After that, she jumped right in and got involved in any way she could and she brought her brothers along with her.  My first time being a part of a show was in 2020 when I was on stage crew for Frozen Jr.  It brought me right back to high school!  Being a part of a show is magical.  Watching all the pieces come together to tell a cohesive, beautiful story is truly unlike anything else. 

What is your favorite memory working on a QCT production?

I have a lot of favorite memories over the last several years!  If I have to choose just one, I’m going to go with the Midsummer Night’s Dream cast party.  My husband and I have taken on the task of planning many of the student cast parties over the last few years and our goal for the parties has been to make the kids feel loved and appreciated.  For this one, we turned the Lindsay Room into an enchanted forest and it was just a delight to hear the kids’ reactions as they came into the room!  

What was it like working with family on Matilda The Musical?

My kids have been a part of many QCT shows so they are pros at this compared to me. Matilda was my first time on stage in over 20 years! It was such fun to turn the tables and ask them questions when I didn’t know what I was doing. They got to show me the ropes and lead me to where I needed to be.  While I usually see their performances from a seat in the audience, it was really neat to see it from backstage, peeking through the curtains to catch a glimpse. It was great to witness and share in their nervousness and excitement in this new way.  I will definitely always treasure this experience!

Do you prefer performing on stage or working behind the scenes? Why?

Honestly, being on stage was so much fun! I’ve missed it!  And I do think that I prefer it to backstage work.  I will say that it is a huge commitment though and I am glad that there are so many opportunities to volunteer in different ways throughout the theater.  While I’m not sure I’m ready to jump back into auditioning for another on-stage role just yet, you will find me again soon helping backstage or in the front of the house.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of the 2024 season?

I think that there are a lot of neat opportunities coming this season!  While we will all greatly miss Brandon Thomsen while he’s on sabbatical, it does leave us with the chance to work with and witness a lot of new guest artists.  I’m excited to see what they will bring to this season’s great line up of shows!

What would you say to encourage someone else to get involved at QCT?

I would tell you what I tell my kids.  Just audition.  You never know what the team is looking for or who they will need.  More than likely the audition will be fun and you will learn something. And, if you’re not ready to audition, try something else!  There is an opportunity at the theater for just about anyone!  If you don’t want to audition, come help paint scenery. If you don’t think you’re very artsy, volunteer as an usher.  If you can’t go up and down the stairs easily, help in the box office.  If you don’t like customer service, help me plan a cast party.  There are so many options.  All you have to do is show up and a friendly face will show you the ropes!

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