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A match made on Broadway: From roommates to castmates

Kurt Anthony Krug

Chemical reaction

Broadway actor Will Burton, BFA ’11, didn’t know whether to be “extra nervous or extra relieved” when he got the call to do a chemistry read for the Tony-nominated musical “Beetlejuice.” He knew his audition partner would be fellow Broadway actor — and former U-M classmate — Britney Coleman, BFA ’11. If compatible, these Wolverines (center and right, above) would share the stage as Adam and Barbara Maitland, the married ghosts portrayed by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis in director Tim Burton’s 1988 film.

Spoiler alert: Burton and Coleman were more than compatible.

Turns out these graduates of U-M’s Department of Theatre and Drama lived as roommates in Ann Arbor from 2010-11 in a legacy apartment passed among musical theater students. The “Round House,” located above the Jamaican Jerk Pit, had a longstanding reputation for late-night parties on Thayer Street.

So when Burton texted Coleman about their pending chemistry test, she replied, “They should just give you the role.”

Shared history comes in handy when you play husband and wife. “It’s been pretty wild,” Burton says, “and it makes it a little bit easier every step of the way.”

Read the full story at Michigan Today.