11:29 AM / Saturday June 10, 2023

31 Mar 2023

Terica Marie and Zan Berube star as Anna of Cleves and Anne Boleyn in ‘SIX the musical’

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March 31, 2023 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: The North American tour Boleyn company of “SIX.”  (Photo by Joan Marcus)

By Kharisma McIlwaine

“Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.” The aforementioned were the fates of the six wives of England’s King Henry VIII. 

The cultural phenomenon and Tony Award-winning production, “Six the Musical” (“SIX”) tells the story of Henry VIII’s wives from their individual perspectives. Co-directed by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, the play features a dynamite cast of all women and non-binary actors which include: Gerianne Pérez (Catherine of Aragon) Zan Berube (Anne Boleyn), Amina Faye (Jane Seymour), Terica Marie (Anna of Cleves), Aline Mayagoitia (Katherine Howard), Sydney Parra (Catherine Parr), Aryn Bohannon, Jana Larell Glover, Taylor Pearlstein and Cecilia Snow. 

The dynamic musical — which centers around women’s empowerment at its core — makes its way to The Academy of Music on The Kimmel Cultural Campus as part of the 2022-2023 Broadway series. Marie and Berube spoke with the SUN about their roles as Anna of Cleves and Anne Boleyn respectively, and the importance of hearing these women’s stories told from their perspectives and the lessons they were gifted as cast members.

“SIX” the musical is the modern retelling of the story of Henry VIII’s six wives told from the perspective of the wives. It stays true to its mission to center women and their truths and features a cast solely comprised of women and non-binary actors.

“It’s extremely empowering,” Marie said. “The beautiful thing about this show is that it has allowed us to have friends we never knew we needed in our lives. We get to be friends with each other on and off stage, which I think is the most powerful thing. We support each other, we have each other’s back. That’s not something we get to see a lot in TV, film or on stage. The fact that we get to be that pivotal change in the industry… it’s a huge responsibility, but one we are very honored to embark on.” 

Terica Marie as Anna of Cleves (center) in the North American tour Boleyn company of “SIX”. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

“Such a safe space was created with the whole creative team and the entire cast being all female and non-binary was such a beautiful experience — and it’s a first for many,” Berube added. “A lot of us are doing things we’ve never done before including the show, seeing new places and meeting new people. I think having that safe space and environment with all these women really set us up for success.”

Having made their National and North American tour debuts respectively, Marie and Berube experienced additional firsts as members of the cast of “SIX.” 

“I’m having the time of my life. I’m grateful every day that I get to wake up to this amazing group of people and go to a workplace where I feel happy, I want to go to work and I want to do this job. I couldn’t be more grateful for this first.” Berube said.

 “I second that! It’s definitely the feeling of being so grateful and knowing this a true blessing,” Marie said. “I know for me personally, Anna of Cleves has always been a dream role since I was introduced to the show. The fact that I get to do this and do it in so many different cities around this country, it’s truly exciting.”

“SIX” has also gifted the cast with the ability to carry various aspects of the powerful women that they play with them both on and off the stage.

“I play Anna of Cleves which is Henry VII wife number four, and she is the red one in this production,” Marie said. “Anna’s story here is honestly just a true bad [redacted]. She took all the money, all the palaces and still remained this man’s friend — in spite of the fact that he decided to tell the entire world that she was ugly, which was never the truth. He just had challenges of his own. Anna of Cleves has definitely taught me the ability to just own who I am and be extremely proud of that in spite of what society may say — also walking in a different kind of confidence. Anna of Cleves has to take a lot [of] control, but she also gets to have a lot of fun.” 

“I think Anne Boleyn is so unapologetically herself, and one of the lessons in life that I’ve taken to heart is not to be afraid to speak your mind and stand in your own truth,” Berube added. “I think she’s bled over into my life a little bit and influenced me positively in that way.”

Each of Henry VIII’s wives draws inspiration from contemporary, famous singers in the play. For instance, Anne Boleyn draws her inspiration from the pop world.

Zan Berube as Anne Boleyn (center) in the North American tour Boleyn company of “SIX”. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

“Anne’s “popspirations” and “queenspirations” are Avril Lavigne and Miley Cyrus,” Berube said. “She kind of takes their fun, punk, pop, rock energy and brings that to the stage while she tells her story.”

The retelling of the story of Henry VIII and his wives allowed the cast of “SIX” to learn a great deal more about aspects of history they were unaware of before joining the cast.

“We had to do our own history research and presentations when we were in rehearsals,” Marie said. “So, we were able to see the purpose of him wanting queens in general and being able to keep power, or being able to change the patriarch and do what it was that he wanted vs what it was that was traditional during that time. I think the biggest takeaway that we’ve been able to receive now is that those women also had their own story. As we grow up in school, we get taught his story and what he wants us to know. This time around, it’s from their point of view, because they existed at this time as well. Everything we learned in school or online isn’t always the truth.”

In addition to women’s empowerment, and a different version of the history we’ve been taught, “SIX” takes audiences on an eclectic musical journey.

“It’s been an incredible experience,” Berube said. “Toby and Lucy really created a beautiful masterpiece of pop music and musical theater. It’s like going to a pop concert for the audience. They sit there and they’re receiving it as a concert version, but these songs have structure and storytelling. They have a beginning, middle, and end so you really get the storytelling part and the heart of musical theater.”

“SIX” gifts audiences with electrifying performances, humor, history and a lot of heart. Berube and Marie share their hopes for what audiences will take away from the show.

“A big message that I want people to take away after they’ve seen “SIX” is this incredible display of women supporting women and humans supporting other humans —  and backing up people when they tell their truth and share their stories,” Berube said.

“I hope they take away that everybody’s story is important,” Marie added. “You can genuinely unapologetically be yourself in every room that you step in, and it’s going to be a beautiful journey and experience for those around you. I would love for everyone to understand that there’s power in who you are because you’re designed for a purpose and it’s a beautiful thing to see you walk in that purpose.”

Be sure to follow Terica Marie on IG @TericaMarie (where you can also find links to stream her latest music project “Recovery”) and Zan Berube @ZanBerube on IG and TikTok. “Six the Musical” will be at The Academy of Music on The Kimmel Cultural Campus now through April 9. For more information on tickets and showtimes, visit:

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