By Aria Brent,
AFRO Staff Writer
Most actors who choose a life on the stage only dream of performing on Broadway. That is not the case with Dayna Marie Quincy, the Morgan State University alum who recently made her life-long dream a reality.
A native of Detroit, Mich., Quincy got her start as an actress at the East Baltimore historically Black university after earning a role in the institution’s reproduction of “Ragtime,” a musical that explores the concept of the American Dream and race in the 1920s. The 2006 play was Quincy’s first time on a stage, but this star has been on the steady rise to Broadway ever since.
Quincy’s Broadway debut came on April 26, after what she told the AFRO was a surprisingly fast audition process for the show titled “New York, New York.” Since opening night, she has continuously wowed the audience as both a member of the ensemble and a featured character, Josie.
“Auditioning was actually a very fast and furious process. I got cast in about a week, which is not common–it’s crazy!” said Quincy. “I did a self tape audition and then I got a call back.”
“I was actually called back as an understudy for the opera singer in the show and because I have that classical voice degree from Morgan State. I thought, ‘that’s what I’ll be doing.’ However, I also read some lines for this character named Josie,” Quincy explained. “When the offer came in that I had gotten a part in the ensemble it was also for the Josie character, which was completely unexpected to me.”
Known for her charismatic spirit and powerful voice, Quincy’s Broadway debut is seen as something that was bound to happen.
“I’m really excited for her,” said former castmate Grant Emerson Harvey, a Morgan-trained thespian recently spotted on the Everyman Theatre stage. “Dayna has an amazing voice, and she’s an amazing talent. I always knew that if that was her goal, she would achieve it. This is a great moment for her.”
Harvey and Quincy first met through mutual friends in college, but got the chance to really know one another in 2009, during Morgan State’s reproduction of the musical “Sarafina!,” the apartheid- era stage play based on the cult classic film, released in 1992.
Quincy’s Broadway debut is the latest achievement added to her lengthy resume of roles and accolades.
Janice Short worked with Quincy during her time at Morgan State and recalled her dedication to her career on the stage.
“Performing was always what made Dayna’s heart beat,” said Short. “She came alive and transformed when she hit the stage. Dayna always knew what she wanted to do and where she wanted to do it,” Short stated.
Although she has been acting for over 15 years, Quincy said she understands that there is still more to be learned and she’s excited for the opportunity to do so.
“This is my Broadway debut, which is very exciting. Even though I’ve been in the industry so long, I’m taking this production as my chance to really learn some more ins and outs of Broadway,” explained Quincy. “This is the start.”