Teachers might have been inspiring. Family members might have been encouraging. But when it comes to actually setting Sam Krivda on his musical theater path, credit probably should go to a purple dinosaur.
“When I was a child, I watched Barney all the time,” said Sam. “My mom noticed that I paid attention to the songs, and she gave me piano lessons.”
Sam, now a sophomore at Manhattan School of Music studying classical voice, has expanded that early love of song into an enjoyment of the stage.
“I’ve been doing theater my entire life,” said Sam, who plays the role of David Richards in “Scenes and Songs from Fannie Lou.” The part was enhanced especially for Sam, who performs a song written just for this production.
“The character David Richards shares lead in one of the songs, ‘Make It Like It Was Before,’ for the Oct. 22 production. But in the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted to give David his own song,” said Fannie Lou creator Felicia Hunter. “I wanted to give David, who is in his early to mid 20’s, the opportunity to express why he squarely supports the voting rights resisters, and is one himself. I wanted to get that young-white-male-traditionalist perspective in there. With Sam taking on the role of David, I finally took that opportunity. And because of his musical talent, I was able to take that opportunity.”
The song, titled “Tradition,” will be debuted during the Oct. 22 production. Felicia said she’s not sure if the song will remain in the musical for future incarnations, but “it fits perfectly” for this one, she said. “It’s written specifically for Sam, and takes full advantage of his vocal talents. I’m very fortunate that he’s part of the cast, and that his participation inspired me to bring that thought about a song for David that was in the back of my mind to the forefront.”
A native of Pennsylvania, Sam’s musical tastes run the gamut from Jason Robert Brown – one of his favorite composers – to Andrew Lloyd Webber to Billy Joel to classical. Adding to such musical influences is voice teacher Maitland Peters, who “made a huge impact on me,” said Sam, whose local and regional theater credits include Peter Pan and Carousel, among others.
As for his role as David Richards in “Scenes and Songs from Fannie Lou,” Sam said playing a young man anchored to the past during the 1960s has made him more cognizant of his own social environment.
“Change isn’t a bad thing, but there are people resisting it,” he observed.
And, he’d like audience members, after seeing his performance and the show, to walk away determined to vote.
“I want everyone to leave saying, ‘I want to vote. I want to make a difference,’” Sam said.