Talia Cosentino (center) performs in "Irena's Vow" at Kent State
Talia Cosentino (left) performs in "Irena's Vow"

Kent State Senior Musical Theatre Student Joins National Tour of Matilda

Hudson native Talia Cosentino portrays Matilda’s classmate Hortensia

Kent, OH – The School of Theatre and Dance is proud to announce that senior B.F.A. Musical Theatre student Talia Cosentino has joined the cast of the Equity tour of the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Matilda the Musical.

“It’s an absolute dream come true,” Cosentino, a Hudson, OH native, said about being cast in the production.

Based on Roald Dahl’s acclaimed children’s novel, Matilda follows the adventures of a child prodigy with magical powers as she overcomes the difficulties of life at home and school.

Cosentino plays Hortensia, one of title character Matilda’s fellow students at Crunchem Hall. Hortensia, Cosentino explains, is “part of the children's ensemble, all of whom are played by kids (child actors) except for Hortensia, who is always played by a (very small) adult.”

A long-time fan of the story, Cosentino grew up watching the film version of Matilda and fell in love with the story. “When the musical came out I wanted to be part of it, but it didn’t look like there was an opportunity for me.”

Cosentino didn’t completely give up on her Matilda dream, however, and in October 2015 she was in New York for a different audition when she had the chance to audition for Matilda’s children’s ensemble. “I got seen within twenty minutes and had one of the best auditions of my life. That’s when I found out that Hortensia is always played by an adult on tour.”

The audition process was long and unpredictable and after that first audition, Cosentino didn’t hear anything for more than five months. Then in March 2016, she received a call to come to New York the next day for a private audition for the show’s Toronto production. “I called my parents, packed my bags, and got to the airport to catch a flight to New York within an hour,” she recalled. Cosentino was one of the final 5 considered for the role, but ultimately was not cast for the production.

Then, unexpectedly, in September 2016, Cosentino received the call she had dreamt about. “I had just arrived at a rehearsal for Irena’s Vow here at Kent State when I got the call. I usually don’t answer calls from unknown numbers, but something in my gut told me to take this call. It was the most amazing news of my life.”

Cosentino values the professionalism and work ethic she has learned at Kent State and is proud that she booked the role of Hortensia without an agent or previous connections with the production’s casting director. “I did this all on my own and because of that,” Cosentino said, “I grew as an artist and as a professional.”

Cosentino most recently appeared in the School of Theatre and Dance’s production of Irena’s Vow, portraying Fanka Silberman. She also appeared in Kent State productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie, You Can’t Take It With You, and The House of Blue Leaves. She was a member of Porthouse Theatre’s Young Professional Company in 2015, playing Fredrika Armfeldt in A Little Night Music, Young Violet in Violet, and Penny in Hairspray.

With music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and book by Dennis Kelly, Matilda premiered in the West End in November 2011 and on Broadway in April 2013. The recipient of dozens of international awards, the musical notably won Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Scenic Design of a Musical and Best Lighting Design of a Musical.

The Equity national tour is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Dodger Properties LLC.

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Media Contact:

Joni Koneval, 330-672-0116, jkoneval@kent.edu