Photo of the interior of the New Stage Theater, the audience is full, the stage lights are on, lighting up the red main curtain.
Photo of the interior of the New Stage Theater, the audience is full, the stage lights are on, lighting up the red main curtain.

Where are they now?



Regards from Broadway Rose

Spring 2024

Photo of Allison Burke in her crown and sash.

Allison Burke, 2023’s Miss Oregon

Theatre is more than an after-school activity, it’s more than a hobby, and it’s more than a phase. For 2023’s Miss Oregon, Allison Burke, theatre prepared her for a life of confidence in pageantry, public health, and the federal government.

Allison Burke was crowned Miss Oregon at the end of July 2023 and her year of reign has been nothing short of life-altering. A Hunger-Free America advocate and master violinist, Allison has shined on and off stage in more ways than one.

Her experience on stage is not one of unfamiliarity. Born and raised in Tigard, Allison cultivated a love for theatre since age three and is no stranger to Broadway Rose. “I sat in the audience at one of the earliest shows that Broadway Rose did at the Deb Fennell and I just fell in love with seeing everything on stage,” said Allison. Captivated by the magic of live theatre, her mom signed her up for a summer theatre class with Broadway Rose and the rest is history.

Allison spent many of her childhood and teenage summers at the theater and performed in youth productions like Grease and Big River. Engaging with professionals and connecting with other kids from around the Tigard area, was an instrumental step for her to gain confidence: “I think going into theatre was the best decision I could’ve made as a child,” explained Allison. As a shy kid, the theatre experience allowed her to develop social and communication skills in a creative outlet. “The beautiful thing about theatre is that it meets you exactly where you’re at…There was so much that theatre did for me that led me to see ‘Oh, I can take up space. I have a voice. I can be creative. I can be playful,’” shared Allison. Her experience at Broadway Rose also encouraged her to pursue theatre at Tigard High School, which allowed her to expand her life skills.

These same skills would translate into building confidence in public speaking, interview skills, and empathy–all of which Allison credits to doing theatre: “In literally every professional and personal way, it grew me into who I am today and it led me to be very successful at Miss Oregon because I had those skills under my belt.” In addition to confidence building, theatre prepped her for performance. In fact, for her talent in the Miss Oregon pageant, Allison performed a fiery, modern, violin rendition of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons–complete with synth, drums, and lightning crashes. The bliss that was reflected through her performance allowed her to lean deeper into the role of Miss Oregon, which she explained “is to connect and to bring joy to people.” Post-winning Miss Oregon, interpersonal connection continues to stay at the heart of the work she does.

Photo of Allison Burke and another girl in the 2003 Broadway Rose children's production of Beauty and the Beast.

Allison Burke (left) after a performance of Broadway Rose Theatre’s children’s production of Beauty and the Beast, 2003

Allison graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor of science in public health, in hopes of helping improve people’s lives. The prestigious pageant has paid for all of her schooling with over $30,000, but has also helped her grow into who she is today. Her personal platform as Miss Oregon is Hunger-Free America, which involves fighting hunger through awareness, charity, and legislation. “Over my year of service, but also for 10 years prior, I’ve been helping to promote awareness for the over 600,000 Oregonians who struggle with food insecurity or not having consistent access to food,” she explained. This can look like promoting local support organizations, raising funds for food banks, and fighting hunger at the root causes through her work in legislation.

As a state operations manager for United States Senator, Jeff Merkley, Allison thrives in the ever-changing atmosphere of politics, aiming to help people and communities in Oregon. Surprisingly, many of the people she works with were former theatre majors: “When I asked other people how they got into working in government, it’s usually something along the lines of a ‘passion for people and communities.’” This same passion is the one that many, including Allison, develop through experience in theatre.

Photo of Allison Burke with two other teens in the 2009 Broadway Rose production of Grease.

Allison Burke (left) in the Broadway Rose Teen Summer Production of Grease, 2009

Well-informed from her work in politics and robust theatre background, Allison knows that “performing arts make our communities stronger, happier, and better,” she said. “Supporting programs, especially programs that help engage children into theatre, is one of the best ways we can give our dollars, our money, and our time because it gives kids a community and it gives them an opportunity to express themselves creatively.” Self-expression and building community are often developed through creative channels like the arts, which Broadway Rose knows are some of the most important lessons learned through theatre.

Looking back on an array of remarkable life experiences, Allison continues to remember her days at Broadway Rose fondly: “It was such a blessing to be able to get involved in live theatre and I just hope people continue to support children and performing arts forever,” she said. “And Broadway Rose does that very, very well.”

Broadway Rose Theatre Company continues to support youth through our educational programs like the kids’ spring break camp, youth summer productions, as well as internships for high school and college students. Investing in younger generations is a key component of Broadway Rose’s Mission and we continue to enrich our communities through these programs.

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