NDA’s Mallory Maedke Becomes Talk of the Tony’s with Last-Minute Stellar Performance


Frannie Wied, Staff Writer, Online Tritonian

Notre Dame alumni Mallory Maedke recently performed at the Tony Awards on one of the world’s biggest and most beloved stages, with a mere 24 hours of notice. 

Maedke is dance captain and a “swing” for the Broadway production of Six the Musical. As a swing, she is the understudy for multiple leading roles and has to step in at a moment’s notice. This is exactly what she did just hours prior to the Tony’s when she found out her fellow castmate tested positive for COVID-19. 

“My initial reaction to getting the call was: Is this a prank?” described Maedke. “I was also so worried about my castmate.”

Her concern was followed by nervousness, and, of course, excitement for what was to come. 

The day before the Tony’s she met with the associate director and choreographer. They had recently restaged the routine in preparation for the performance at Radio City Music Hall. Maedke had to learn the moditifed routine in a room that was “ten times smaller than the actual stage.”

The next day she had her one, and only, time to perform on the stage before the actual performance. 

“The next day was dress rehearsal in full makeup, hair, costume, microphones, etcetera and one run of the number and that’s it. That’s the first time I got onstage and figured out where I needed to go. No stepping through the number, nothing, just go for it,” explained Maedke. 

After the dress rehearsal she studied the rehearsal tape to see where she needed to go and to perfect the transitions and movement. Then it was time to perform!

At a young age, Maedke knew that performing was her calling. 

“I always knew I wanted to perform. I actually wanted to do more on-camera but then the theater bug hit me, and I wanted more, so I kept performing in musicals,” said Maedke. 

While growing up in Green Bay, she started dancing at the age of two and a half at Shirley Van’s Dance Studio under Loraine Louiser learning tap, ballet, lyrical, modern and gymnastics. She was a self-taught singer until she started taking lessons with various teachers throughout the state. She would also train on the weekends in Minnesota with acting coaches. 

While at NDA, Maedke partook in all the musicals and was part of Swing Choir under the direction of Andrea Hearden and Teresa Schmidt. She says that the lessons and mindset that was instilled by them is invaluable, even today. She credits their teachings to the focus and drive that she now has. 

“They instilled good work ethic, passion, drive and gave us doses of reality when it came to the business and tried to prepare us for the real world through theater and the arts,” said Maedke. 

When asked if she had any advice for aspiring performers, Maedke had a heartfelt answer. 

“My advice to young theater performers is to keep striving for what you want, speak up for yourself and be kind to others always.”

Adviser’s Note:  YouTube has several clips of Maedke’s Tony Awards performance, but this one in particular shows the emcee’s comment that let the world know she had stepped in at the last minute to sing as a lead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BRNq8JFmpg