theTEN with Dana Tretta

theTEN with Dana Tretta

Pictured: Dana Tretta

Jump inside the brains of Chicago theater artists as we ask them 10 questions that were in no way inspired by “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” To read past articles click here.


What’s the one role/show you’ve always wanted to work on that you haven’t yet?

I have always have wanted to (and never will) play Kim in MISS SAIGON.  I completely understand all the reasons I cannot ever play this role. However, there were many emotional performances conjured in my basement in ’90’s.  I also would die to play Peggy in HAMILTON.  It seems I have a pattern of wanting things I’ll never get…

What current production, besides one of your own, are you most excited about?

I wish I could see SWEAT at the Goodman.  That’s a night of theatre I would dig.

If you couldn’t be in theater, what career would you have chosen?

I came to this later in life, but I’d love to be a chef.  (No, I’m not a good cook, but I sure like trying!)

What quote or saying do people spout but is really complete BS?

“Honestly, …”  I think that phrase is overused and abused.  People lie.  Do I sound cynical?

What would you name your boat if you had one?

“Toni Mahoney” – That is the name of my very first artistic mentor, who recently passed and left a chasm in my heart.  She taught me to find the fun and adventure in EVERYTHING.  If I had a boat, I’d want to use it for exactly that, with her in mind. And her name has quite a ring to it, doesn’t it?

What will finally break the internet?

With what we’ve experienced over the last few years, I’m surprised it hasn’t semi-exploded.  But I think the internet is unbreakable.  It’s a powerful beast, that I respect, but, quite frankly, it scares me, which is why I stay away from it as much as possible.

What well-known fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?

Eeyore might be a bit rough.  But if I could bring my sister along, who is a marriage and family therapist, I bet she’d be able to work through his issues in no time.  Then we could get coffee and catch up.

What is a play or musical that you cannot stand (CATS is not an acceptable answer)?

“Cannot stand” is a little harsh.  And I hate to call anything out…as I want everyone to have the freedom to express themselves through their art.  But, I want to see theatre that teaches me something about the world, others, and maybe even myself.  If it’s just fluff for fluff’s sake, I’ll probably pass.

What is a play or musical that you love (CATS is not an acceptable answer)?

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY rocked my soul.  I think my mouth was agape for the entire three acts.  And I was lucky enough to see the original cast at Steppenwolf.  I’ll never forget that experience.

What are you reading, watching or listening to right now?

I received Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” for Christmas, but I got busy and have yet to start it.  Looking forward to some down time so I can dive into that puppy. The final season of “Veep” just started, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic!  Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the ensemble cast are brilliant.  And I recently found a “mix-tape” (CD) that my friend Emjoy made me, so she’s helped me jam during my commute.


DANA TRETTA can currently be seen as Audrey in the Mercury Theater Chicago’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Past Mercury credits include having last appeared as Gilda Radner in Bunny Bunny. Other Chicago theatre credits include work with TimeLine Theatre (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, Fiorello!), Paramount Theatre (Hair, A Christmas Story), About Face Theatre (The Homosexuals, We Three Lizas), Porchlight Music Theatre (A Class Act, Mack and Mabel), Marriott Theatre (Wizard of Oz, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Writers Theater (The Frog Prince), Route 66 Theatre (High Fidelity), Griffin Theatre (Company), Theo Ubique (Cabaret, Some Enchanted Evening),The House Theatre (Rose and the Rime), and Boho Theatre (The Glorious Ones, Pippin – Non-Equity Jeff Award). Dana is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent.

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