In the Spotlife: Monica​ ​Joyce​ ​Thompson of 'South Pacific'

Monica.Joyce.Thompson. South Pacific
Monica Joyce Thompson backstage after opening weekend of ‘South Pacific,’ which plays in Parker through Oct. 15. Photo via Instagram.

Nellie Forbush In Inspire Creative’s South Pacific at the PACE Center in Parker. 

  • Monica.Joyce.Thompson. South PacificHometown: Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., though I grew up in Colorado.
  • Home now: Centennial
  • High school: Grandview High School
    in Aurora
  • College: Honors Double Major in Vocal Performance and Music Theatre from Oklahoma City University
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Presendia in the 2011 opera Dark Sisters, which centered around polygamy, for the Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music.
  • Twitter-sized bio: Jesus-loving, Colorado-living actress who just wants to listen and tell stories. Find me hiking, reading, writing, eating (because, food) and squeezing the best moments out of life. 
  • What’s your handle? @BitOfMonica on Twitter and Instagram
  • Do you blog? Find me at
  • The role that changed your life: I played Mother in Ragtime my senior year at Grandview High School. It was a full-circle experience because my freshman year, I auditioned for the musical and did not even get a called back. I was so incredibly shy and nervous to sing in front of anyone. Not only did this role teach me a lot about myself, but it gave me a deep desire to pursue a career in acting. Our show was selected out of all the high schools in Colorado to perform at the Colorado State Thespian Conference in downtown Denver. I performed in front of 5,000 people, and I will never forget the feeling of finally overcoming my fear.

  • audra_mcdonaldIdeal scene partner: I trained in classical singing like Audra McDonald, but I also consider her to be an incredible storyteller. That’s where my heart is when I perform. Plus, she has six Tony Awards, so she must be doing something right.
  • What is South Pacific all about? South Pacific is about two love stories set on the backdrop of an island in the South Pacific during World War II. But at its core, the story is really a drama about where our prejudices come from and questions if love can overcome all.
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: Nellie Forbush is such a likeable character; a cockeyed optimist, if you will, which is the fun part to play. But she also is a racist and it is a huge challenge playing someone so deeply affected by those prejudices. I had to find Nellie’s redemption journey under her many layers. She truly grows into a woman in this show and allows herself the freedom to love.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? South Pacific is powerful in every day and age – that’s why it is a classic. But I believe its message is especially poignant in this day and age. In the song You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught, human prejudices are brought into question. I hope the audience leaves with a deeper understanding of what it means to love – to love deeply and fully.
  • What don’t we know about you? This past June, I was first runner-up for the title of Miss Colorado. I also won the Miss America Community Service Award for raising more than  $20,000 and dedicating hundreds of hours of community service to my platform, “Building Strong Girls.” I am very passionate about growing the next generation of women to be strong, confident, and healthy.
  • What do you want to get off your chest? My favorite animal is a chicken – for real – but I also eat chicken. It confuses people.

South Pacific. Inspire Creative.

South Pacific: Ticket information
South Pacific was written shortly after World War II ended; its message of unity and its confrontation of racial stereotypes through the all-too-familiar lens of the war was poignant to the audiences of the time. Hailed as a landmark musical is still relevant to this day.

• Composed by Richard Rodgers; lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
• Directed by Ralph Neumann
• Through Oct. 15
• At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker
• Tickets $20-$29
• For tickets, call 303-805-6800 or go to

Remaining performances:
• Friday, Oct. 6: 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 7: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 8: 2 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 13: 2 p.m. (reduced price Friday matinee)
• Friday, Oct. 13: 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 14: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 15: 2 p.m.

2017-18 ‘In the Spotlife’ profiles:

Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep’s Arsenic and Old Lace
Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre’s August: Osage County

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