From E.M.E. to R&J

Onyango will show off her vocal range in Valley’s upcoming “Romeo and Juliet.”

Yesenia Burgara, Staff Writer

Maryeduhiah-Onyango2Ariane Azar / Photographer

Maryeudiah Onyango may be all in for musical theater as Romeo and Juliet were all in it for each other.

“Music theater is what I love to do,” said Onyango. “I don’t have a backup plan; this is what makes me happy.”

Onyango is an actress whose screen credits include the short films “Curse of the Devil’s Mountain,” “Mind Tricks” and the Internet feature “Dysfunctionally Organized.” She is a musical theater major and will serve as the musical director, chorus and narrator in Valley’s upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s tragic love story “Romeo and Juliet.”

“The show is coming out great,” Onyango said.  “It’s coming out amazing. I feel people are really going to understand it, especially with the music chosen. Our director, Christopher Coddington, really picked the songs to make sense with the storyline.”

Onyango started acting at 8. It was in her blood, as her father, Benjamin A. Onyango, has about 30 screen credits and appeared with her in the Bruce Willis feature, “Tears of the Sun.”

“Sadly my part did not get picked into the system,” she said. This means that her scenes ended up on the cutting-room floor. “But luckily Bruce Willis was able to make his own version of the movie and I was able to get my own copy of me in his version.”

It was in the ninth grade, that Maryeudiah said she “finally realized that I really liked singing, acting, and dancing, all three of it, so I got into a show, ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ my first musical.”

Soon after, she started the girl group E.M.E. Angels with her youngest sister and a godsister. They released an album in 2006, “Not Going Home.” The group lasted six years after losing and changing members.

After E.M.E. and after graduating from Birmingham Community Charter High School, Onyango began taking classes at Valley. She was in her first show, “Avenue Q,” in the Spring of 2013.

“After hearing everyone enjoying [the show], and really enjoying what I’d been doing and the talent I’d been given, I was like wow, I think this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”


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