Sophie Mings, University of Central Oklahoma musical theatre alumna, hits a new note
by Riley Stokesberry
Sophie Mings, a University of Central Oklahoma musical theatre alumna, is creating a name for herself after graduating recently in May 2022. She has been involved in musical theatre since she was 10 years old. Musical theatre takes confidence and passion, two things Sophie exhibits, but it is normal to experience uncertainty when pursuing a career in the arts. In fact, it was not until her father passed away when she was a senior in high school, that she decided she wanted to follow this career. Sophie stated that her dad always believed she could follow this passion, even when she did not believe in herself. After performing for years, a college audition conference led her to The University of Central Oklahoma’s musical theatre program.
I reached out to Marilyn Govich, UCO professor of applied voice and Sophie’s former music teacher, and got to know more about Sophie. Mings had joined Marilyn’s studio in her junior year. It was not long until Marilyn detected Sophie’s undeniable talent, saying, “I found her to be an intelligent and talented student who was eager and willing to work hard to develop her skills.” She sought out every opportunity to grow and become better, and it was visible to everyone around her. “Although Sophie possessed considerable potential and impressive native ability when she came to UCO, she demonstrated exceptional initiative and worked tirelessly in lessons and classes to cultivate her talent, developing skills to perform at the highest professional level,” said Govich. Sophie is perpetually grateful for Marilyn, as she continues to mentor Sophie, even after graduation. Mings continued to work and prosper at the university, and it was not long after graduation she started to receive recognition for her ability. She was one of only two recipients to receive The Roger Sturtevant Musical Theatre Award this past April, which led to her first big performance. This award recognizes people who have demonstrated outstanding ability and artistry in the musical theatre field. This solidifies Sophies’ undeniable talent and ability in the musical theater field as she continues to grow.
On Aug. 6-28, Sophie starred alongside talented performers at the renowned Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Mings performed in the musical “A Little Night Music” as Petra. This hauntingly brilliant love story is A New York Times Critic’s Pick and a six-time Tony Award winner. Jesse Green, The New York Times Critic, emphatically acknowledges Sophie in his review. “…Sophie Mings as Anne’s randy maid Petra. (She scores big with “The Miller’s Son” — a showstopper…,” says Green. Sophie says, “It was an amazing experience, I think I learned a lot!” The cast and crew were super welcoming, and this allowed Sophie to soak up her co-worker’s knowledge and experience. It is normal to be nervous before performing, but Sophie said the cast and crew motivated her to a whole new level and kept her focused. It was difficult to find her confidence but reminding herself she was there for a reason kept her driven.
On Aug.19, 2022, Sophie performed alongside Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in remembrance of the late composer, Stephen Sondheim. The show was presented by the Boston Pops at Tanglewood and featured several of Mings’s costars from Little Night Music.” More recently, on Oct. 17, Sophie was nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a musical for her role as Petra in “A Little Night Music.” This nomination was given by the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association for the annual sixth “Berkie Awards.” Since graduation, Sophie has now been based out of New York City, New York. She is distinctly paving the way for herself in this industry. She said one thing to remember is, “Who you are individually as an artist is more interesting than trying to be somebody else.” Finding your inner confidence is key and never compare yourself. Sophie wants to thank the university’s program for allowing her to continue her passion and for giving her a platform to do so. She mentions without UCO she may have never been qualified for the award, which led her to ‘A Little Night Music.’ For her final words of motivation, Sophie wants everyone to, “Be true to yourself as an artist, and follow your heart.”