Sophomore Elizabeth Oakes Shines in the Theatre

Oakes during a production of Little Red Riding Hood

Courtesy of Elizabeth Oakes

Oakes during a production of Little Red Riding Hood

Logan Schiciano, Sports Design Editor


Try, try and try again has been the definition of Elizabeth Oakes’s acting career, as the sophomore explained that rejection is a lot more common than acceptance in the performing world. “Everything is very subjective. You might not get chosen for a part because you don’t have the right color hair, or your eyes are too far apart. I’ve probably done about 150 auditions in the last three years, and I’ve only been accepted for five,” she said.

Five is undoubtedly an impressive number, but this by no means limits Oakes as an actor. She has been in productions at Random Farms Kids Theater in Elmsford, N.Y. since the age of 11, and is in the midst of preparing for her tenth show, Matilda, which will go on this summer. Most recently, she was Mary in Mary Poppins.

She’s been involved in other endeavors professionally as well. “I played a Manga character [Japanese comic character] in an art exhibition. I was also in a Broadway reading for Diary of a Wimpy Kid [a performance done out of costume, in front of investors to generate interest in the show] and performed at 54 Below in the city a couple times,” she said. The art exhibition, called H{N]YPN(Y}OSIS, was directed/designed by French artist Philippe Parreno and was on view at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City during the summer of 2015.

Long before she began acting, Oakes started dancing. She explained one of the reasons she enjoys it, along with her other theater endeavors is due to the friendships she’s made over the years.  “I just started dancing at a new studio [On Hudson Dance] and I’ve made so many friends and that means a lot to me,” she said.

Between the practices, rehearsals and performances, Oakes is on the move a lot. She explained that she’s often leaving school early and doesn’t get home until late at night. That said, she finds time to balance her academics with the arts. “The amount of homework I do in the car is insane. I write essays while I’m sitting on the West Side Highway. It’s a lot, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said.