The Place to SOAR periodically features young people starting their journey of soaring into their destiny and walking in their purpose – the very reason they are on the planet. The first to be featured is my daughter, Olivia Russell, a senior Musical Theatre major at Howard University. Over the years I have watched this young lady grow into her gifts and talent and I am a very proud mama!
Olivia Russell: One Classy Lady
Olivia Russell was born in Trenton, NJ on July 8th 1992. She grew up in a household with her mother, Anita, and sister, Hillary. From a very young age, Olivia displayed characteristics of a thespian and a promising future on the stage. Frequently, she would find herself choreographing dances, writing songs, and short stories in her spare time. She was active in the local theatre community, acting in several of Mill Hill Playhouse productions, as well as writing her own plays and performing in the Trenton Children’s Chorus. All throughout her teenage years she attended the Professional Center for The Arts where she was enrolled full time in their Senior Company, taking classes than ran the gamut from Pointe to Musical Theatre.
Olivia then went on to attend Howard University in 2010, where she was originally a dance major, but going into her sophomore year felt her path was the Musical Theatre route, thus changing her major in 2011. Through the ups and downs she thrived in the Musical Theatre program. She performed in several shows including Passing Strange, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Not About Nightingales, and most recently starred as Reno Sweeney in the American Classic, “Anything Goes”. As part of developing her craft, Olivia has also participated in intensive performing arts programs in New York City, Alvin Ailey and the William Esper Studio. Olivia has a very promising career within performing arts and feels so blessed to have been surrounded by such positive influences throughout her endeavors.