Taylor Loomans, a freshman at Slinger High School,
will perform in her first play when First Stage in
Milwaukee presents Robin Hood.
It opens tonight and runs through March 12.
"I'm very excited," Loomans said. "I have a great
cast, a great director; it's really coming together."
This is Loomans' 22nd performance, but her first
play. The other 21 were musicals.
"I feel that doing musicals throughout my entire
life, I know what I need to do," Loomans said. "Now, I
need to learn how to hold my sword, speak with an
English accent. It's making it an experience and
expanding my acting career."
Of her 22 performances, "Robin Hood" is her third
with First Stage.
She also did "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and
She's been with First Stage for three years.
In "Robin Hood," she plays Joan, one of the Merry
It didn't take long for Loomans to be drawn to the
theater lights. It took five days after she was born.
Loomans was born in Texas, but was adopted by
Mercedes and Larry Loomans.
The week Taylor was born, Larry was in the middle of
a production by the Musical Masquers, "1776."
It was what theater business calls "tech week."
During the week, the production preparation steps up as
the cast and all involved go through mock runs of the
show with costumes, lighting, etc., to get ready for the
rapidly approaching opening night.
The Loomans got a phone call that a baby girl was
born and they were needed in Texas in 24 hours.
"We dropped everything and flew to Texas," Mercedes
That call came on a Monday and they were on the plane
Tuesday to Texas. On Thursday, Larry had to fly back for
the final rehearsal. On Friday, Mercedes and the
family's latest addition, Taylor, were on a plane to
Wisconsin. Hours upon their arrival, Mercedes and Taylor
were in the audience for Larry's opening night
When she was in kindergarten, Mercedes and Larry
decided to test Taylor's interest in the theater. They
enrolled her in a one-week theater camp at the Schauer
Center in Hartford. At the end of the camp, the campers
would put on a production.
"The stage bug bit her hard from that moment on,"
"She's had amazing opportunities with talented
directors and cast members."
"We say that I was born into acting," Taylor added.
Since then, she's done show after show after show.
Her stage debut was at the Schauer Center in "Princess
and the Pea."
For "Robin Hood," it's not only her first play, but
her most extensive role. She plays Joan as part of the
married men group.
"A little bit nervous because it's a lot of acting
and we're using English accents," Taylor said. "Our
adults in the cast have really helped. I'm ready."
Each year, First Stage holds auditions for its
members for productions coming up in the performance
schedule. About 700 kids audition for about 100 roles.
She got a callback and it was for "Robin Hood."
"I knew that I was going for a speaking role, but I
didn't know which one," Taylor said.
Despite the inexperience in a speaking role, she was
surprised, but excited about the opportunity.
"I had really wanted to be in the show," Taylor said.
"I put a lot of effort into my auditon."
Because most of the cast is in school, the show is
double cast. There are 60 performances, meaning Taylor
will be in about 30 of them. She is in the Sherwood
When she was cast for the role, she knew she had a
lot of work ahead of her.
"I was walking into something I didn't know too much
about," Taylor said. "It was definitely a learning
What she learned was knowing and understanding her
surroundings, the castmates' roles. And you have to
Acting is like a sport for Taylor.
"This is my sport," she said. "Some of my friends
play basketball. I act. I love to sing and dance. I love
meeting new people.
"It's a great way to build self-confidence and share
stories with someone else."
She plans to compete in track and field at Slinger in
While Larry was in acting, Mercedes ... not so much.
"I am a professional audience member," she said with
a laugh. "I'm the best one to cheer and cry and laugh."