Girl Boss: Betty Marie Muessig, Director of Stageworks Theatre's 9 to 5 The Musical
September 12 2023
By Julie Montgomery, Stageworks Theatre
It makes sense that a musical about strong women would be directed by a strong woman. That's just what we've done at Stageworks with 9 to 5 The Musical. Houston native, Betty Marie Muessig. Betty Marie is an interdisciplinary artist and a delight! We sat down with her to learn a little bit about her background and thoughts about the upcoming show.
Hello! We are so excited to have you as part of our production team at Stageworks. Tell us about your background in acting and directing.
Hi - I’m so excited to be here! I am a graduate of Houston School of Performing and Visual Arts, a Young Arts Winner, and Texas State university Musical Theatre graduate (go Bobcatsobcats!). I have performed all over the world, have been in original workshops, and have led numerous regional productions. I assistant directed TUTS' (Theatre Under the Stars) Disney's The Little Mermaid, directed Bring It On!, Spongebob the Musical with Humphries School of Musical Theatre at TUTS, and Urinetown at Stageworks! I am also a private College Audition Coach and collaborator with Humphries School of Musical Theatre. bettymariemuessig.com and Insta: @bettymariemuessig
Why is 9 to 5 exciting to direct now?
9 to 5 the Musical is always exciting to direct! This show is based off of the iconic 1980’s movie with music and lyrics by the life force that is Dolly Parton. There is love, scandal, life-long friendship, female empowerment, and re-discovery of self-identity that occurs through out this show. This story has always used comedy to help bring to light the misogynistic behavior in and out of the office that women have had to deal with for the last 40 plus years, but this show now also celebrates not only women, but the common man. This story is a celebration of people who have to work for a living and want to be respected for what they do. I believe most audience members will be able to relate to that; I know I do!
"Our production of 9 to 5
at Stageworks is flirting
with the boundaries of
what this piece can hold."
Which of the principal three characters, Violet, Doralee or Judy, do you most identify with? Why?
Good question. I feel like I most identify with Violet. Judy is in a new place of uncertainty, fear, and the unknown and grows into a place of confidence, worthiness, and redefines who she is throughout the story. Doralee is grounded, sure of who she is and what she has to offer and doesn’t apologize for being herself and sometimes her redneck side peeps out. Violet is confident, good at what she does, but is yearning for a little more and sometimes second guesses herself under pressure. I can absolutely relate to being decently confident and comfortable with who I am, but I definitely still have other dreams I would like to accomplish, and I always go to my mom when I am stressed out and need a supportive sounding board.
What is going to be unique about 9 to 5 at Stageworks?
Our production of 9 to 5 at Stageworks is flirting with the boundaries of what this piece can hold. We are story-driven throughout the show, so our goal is to always seek truthful storytelling with singing and dancing and comedy sprinkled on top. I think our company is doing a great job staying true to their characters, while not trying to be the famous actresses and actors who created these iconic roles. I think everyone is exploring their characters in our specific world that we are creating and there is a nice, raw edginess happening. It’s definitely fun watching the process continue to develop and change up until opening night! I would also say the entire piece is incredibly actor driven in this production- every transition and scenic element is actor-motivated, so even if a performer is not saying lines in a scene, 9 times out of 10, they are still working!
When you’re not in a theatre, how do you spend your time?
I love my miniature schnauzer and pomeranian with all my heart and try to spend as much time as possible with them. I also love to spend quality time with friends and family, cooking, reading, and traveling when I can.
What’s the best thing about Stageworks?
The best thing about Stageworks is the relationships with new friends that I have made in this community! It’s always so much fun to connect and collaborate with like-minded people! I also love the idea of working on a story with a group of people and being in a space that allows our work to reach audiences in the Cypress community.
Grab your tickets to 9 to 5 the Musical - and don't forget that Thursdays are Ladies' Nights (where all presenting ladies receive a complimentary beverage). We're also helping women with a female business clothing drive for Dress for Success.