Tyandria Jackson is excited to portray a character from a series of books she read when she was a tween. Jackson, eighteen, will star in Pinkalicious at Virginia Rep’s Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn as the effervescent eight-year-old Pinkalicious who through time becomes confident enough to embrace who she is . . . . and her love of pink.
“It’s really different to portray an 8-year old,” says the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School senior. “This show is so much fun. I do a lot of shows about heavy topics. To be in such a youthful show is different for me. I love it.”
Jackson, who took classes at SPARC for six years, kicked off her professional career in fourth grade when she was in the cast of Once On This Island at Swift Creek Mill Theatre.
“I’ve done a lot of school theatre,” she says. “I took classes in pre-professional actor training with Train at Cadence Theatre Co. and it was really helpful.”
Her acting credits also include Caroline or Change at Cadence in partnership with Virginia Rep and Godspell at University of Richmond’s Modlin Center.
A fan of the Pinkalicious books by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, Jackson, who has read all the books in the series, has a special affinity for her character.
“Pinkalicious knows what she wants and what she likes,” she says. “She has a spunky attitude about her. I feel like that is like me, especially now that I’m trying to get into college [her top choice is Sarah Lawrence College in New York]. I know what I have to do and I have to push for that.”
She can relate to her character’s playful attitude.
“People call me a ball of energy,” she says. “It’s easy to bring that to my character.”
She likes the show’s message to kids.
“There’s a line in the show – you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit,” she says. “That’s like one of basic things you’re taught when you are a little kid. You have to look at all the possibilities and be open. You have to know when too much of one thing isn’t good for you and you have to try new things.”
Does she mirror her character’s fondness for everything cotton candy pink? Not exactly. “My favorite color is blue,” she says. “But pink does make you feel good. It’s a very fun color.”
Virginia Repertory Theatre opens Pinkalicious on Friday, April 6, at the Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn. The show runs through May 13. Go here for showtimes and tickets.