A! Magazine for the Arts

Carly Street

Carly Street

Carly Street plays Tanya in 'Mamma Mia'

February 26, 2023

Carly Street fell in love with the theater when she was 6 and went to see “Beauty and the Beast” at Barter Theatre, Abingdon, Virginia.

“I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ A few years later I auditioned for a production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at Theatre Bristol. That was the summer of 2014 and since then I’ve been hooked,” she says. She was also diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndome the same year.

She’s been in 14 plays at Theatre Bristol, one in Jonesborough, three at Virginia Middle School and five at Virginia High School. She’s also written and acted in several plays at her church, Community Church at Bristol. She’s playing Tanya in Virginia High School’s production of “Mamma Mia” this month.

“Tanya has been through three divorces, and she’s a very overdramatic and extra type of woman. I’ve always thought I’ve done best in comedic roles, and Tanya is definitely a comedic role. She’s a very funny character, and I really like her friendship with the other characters in the play. And she has a really great song – ‘Does Your Mother Know.’ I like musicals, especially if I can have a comedic role in them. I think I would say I’m focused, but I want to have fun while on stage. Theater is like being a part of a family. You get to do what you love for other people and maybe one day those other people will get to do the same thing,” Carly says.

She prefers acting and singing to working backstage. She was the assistant costumer for “Pinocchio,” which she describes as “new and different.”

Her influences are Jennifer Tilley because Carly admires her energy and personality when she’s on screen. An important local influence is Dottie Havlik from Theatre Bristol.

“She’s always able to get stuff done and on top of things. It is fun being in her plays as they are family-friendly plays, and the roles are open to anyone. I really like how she gives that availability to everyone,” she says.

Carly has had many roles but her favorite, so far, is Scuttle from “The Little Mermaid” at Virginia Middle School.

“It was my most fun role because there was so much stuff I had to do and I really loved my costume. Overall, ‘The Little Mermaid’ was just such a fun experience. I’ll have to say either ‘Elf the Musical’ or ‘Les Misérables’ were my favorite plays that I’ve been in. Both of those shows had really great casts, and I was able to learn really well from everyone. I remember having a really, really fun time in both shows.

“My favorite play that I have watched, and I really want to be in one day is ‘The Producers.’ I love the way it is written, I love the music, I love the characters. I love how all the characters are comedic and have different layers to them. Overall it is a really funny show,” Carly says.

She hopes to be either an actor or writer. She plans to go to Virginia Highlands Community College, Abingdon, Virginia, and then transfer to a four-year school. She takes creative writing at Virginia High School and has written several stories. She competes in forensics at school in Comedic Interpretation. She and her sister, Libby, write Christmas plays for their church.

Carly is the 17-year-old daughter of Shawn Street and Jessica Gamble Street and is a senior at Virginia High School, Bristol, Virginia.