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The Grandview Chronicle

Grandview's Source for Student-Centered News.

The Grandview Chronicle

Grandview's Source for Student-Centered News.

The Grandview Chronicle

From High School to Stardom: Sophia Dotson

Fredrika in A Little Night Music at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (2023)
Amanda Tipton
Fredrika in A Little Night Music at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (2023)

Winona Ryder, Sophia Anna Caruso, and Presley Ryan have played Lydia in the popular franchise Beetlejuice, either in the original movie or on Broadway. Now working with Broadway to play the beloved character on Norwegian Cruise Line is Grandview’s very own, Sophia Dotson.

Dotson was only six years old when her sisters inspired her to start acting, despite being a bit shy.

“ I actually sobbed before my first acting class because I was so scared to go,” Dotson said. “After the class I could not have been happier and I literally haven’t stopped performing since then.”

Dotson has taken on several roles, in and outside of Grandview. Most recently, she played Fredika in A Little Night Music, at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

“This job was particularly fun because it was my first time getting to work with Broadway actors like Sam Primack, Soara Joy- Ross, Zachary James and Ed Staudenmayor, who have all been people that I really look up to,” Dotson said. “They gave me a lot of advice about the industry and watching them rehearse was like being in an acting master class.”

In addition to her recent roles, she has played many other roles such as Small Alison in Fun Home at Miners Alley Playhouse, Noah in Caroline or Change at the Aurora Fox, and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Grandview. Each role shaped Dotson into the actress that she is today, especially during her time in Fun Home, she expanded her horizons and learned about different communities.

“This was my first ever professional show. I learned a lot about myself as an actress but more importantly, this show educated me a lot on the LGBTQ+ community,” Dotson said. “This show gave me so much compassion for people that live differently than me and it really taught me how powerful storytelling can be.”

For Noah in Caroline or Change, Dotson experienced the challenges of conforming to somebody that she is not, like playing an eight-year-old boy while she was a 12-year-old girl.

“I chopped off all my hair for this job and I worked really hard on my physicality and voice to make this character believable. Even though I regret having a pixie cut for so long, it’s still one of my favorites to this day,” Dotson said. 

When she played Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dotson discovered new parts of her talent that she hadn’t yet found.

Noah in Caroline or Change at the Aurora Fox (2019)

“This is the first character I’ve played that is not a human and I really wanted to make that clear for the audience to understand, especially because Shakespeare shows can already be confusing due to the language,” Dotson said. “Mrs. Lindahl really let me explore this character and make huge creative choices which I am really grateful for.”


However, despite all of Dotson’s achievements working in the industry, with awards such as ‘Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical’ at the 2018 Colorado Henry Awards for her role as Small Alison in Fun Home, she has also faced many obstacles throughout her career. 

“People’s words and attitudes towards me and my art really used to hurt me,” Dotson said. “I have gotten to a point where I’m comfortable enough with myself to know that as long as I love what I’m doing and continue to be kind, what other people think doesn’t matter.”

Small Alison in Fun Home at Miners Alley Playhouse (2018) (Rachel Graham)

Managing acting and school also poses a difficulty, with the responsibility of assignments and rehearsals clashing together. Through CCIC, Dotson can balance both.

“It was really challenging at times balancing school and theater because for a lot of performers, like myself, we are taking vocal lessons and dance classes along with doing a show,” Dotson said. “Being a part of that this year really helped because I was able to use the hours I worked on shows outside of school as school credit instead of taking math and science courses.”

When she got cast in the role of Lydia in Beetlejuice for Broadway, Dotson experienced a high sense of emotion upon finding out.


“Getting to perform the material in front of the Broadway artistic team in the audition room was an honor in itself so getting a call that I actually booked the role on the cruise ship was a dream come true,” Dotson said. “There were definitely some happy tears because it didn’t feel real.”

Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Grandview High School (2023) (Laura Dotson)

Dotson plans to incorporate many elements of Lydia’s character into her performance, including from Winona Ryder’s original performance to Dotson’s acting style.

“I love seeing people’s unique ways of telling the same story because there is no ‘wrong’ way,” Dotson said. “There are always parts of me found in every character I play and since ‘I myself am strange and unusual,’ I’m sure it won’t be difficult for me to find some overlap between me and Lydia.”

After playing Lydia, Dotson hopes to continue acting with dream roles such as Eurydice in Hadestown and eventually building herself up to Broadway in New York. 

“My biggest dream would definitely be to perform on the Broadway stage,” Dotson said. “At some point I would love to experience more of the film side of acting as well!”

Motivation can be a key factor in being successful. Along with that, comparison to others can be something that drags one down.

“It is so important to remember that this is a career that you have to love,” Dotson said. “If you are constantly comparing your work to someone else’s you are never going to be satisfied because there is no ‘right’ path of success in this industry and everyone’s journey is different.”

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Maanya Jain
Maanya Jain, Editor
Grade: I am in 11th grade. Years on staff: This is my second year on staff. What are you looking forward to most: I am looking forward to being a leader in class and teaching new students! What is your favorite personality trait: The traits that I like about myself are that I'm very detail-oriented, creative, and empathetic.

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