Leading Lady 


For over 45 years, Shreveport has had the good fortune to have the talented Seva May right in our midst, a central figure of the theatre industry, charming audiences and delivering outstanding performances in a long list of musicals with theatre groups all over town. She is an outstanding singer and award-winning performer, director, teacher, mentor, and inspiration to those who watch her and work with her alike. A woman with the talent to perform on the Broadway stage, came to live in Shreveport through an interesting path that began with her singing talent and ended with love. Her mother actually wanted her to go to New York; her father, not so much. Seva has a passion for performing. People remember the first time they saw her perform. “I’ve been an eyewitness to Seva’s career. She’s just a tremendous talent. There are performers who cross your path and, once in a while, I can call somebody Broadway quality and Seva is one of those. I’ve seen hundreds of Broadway shows. And Seva could easily be up on a Broadway stage. That’s how talented she is,” says Robert Darrow, Managing and Artist Director of the Shreveport Little Theatre. Seva Day May grew up in a small town, Thomasville, Georgia, and had a voice teacher with a degree from the prestigious Julliard School of Music. Seva, wanting to attend college but needing funds, took his advice when he suggested she enter the Miss Thomasville pageant for a $500 prize. Never having been in a pageant before, she showed up, sang “My Man,” and won the talent competition—and the crown. Performer and director Rocky Maddox met Seva at, of all places, a high school pageant where he was invited to sing and she was

sEVA maY

the emcee, a fitting role for the former Miss Georgia. (Yes, she sang “My Man” again and took home the talent and title.) He was taken by the way she handled the audience. “After I sang, she said ‘you remind me of me.’ I never forgot meeting her at the age of 16,” says Maddox. Fast forward to age 28 when he was looking for a hobby and tried theatre and ended up performing with her. “I had seen Seva in shows. She has more fun out there. She is just amazing. This woman is like a star. She gives everything she has to the audience. People just have a great time when she’s on stage,” he said. Even after her hip surgery she jumped right in and taught him how to do the tango. He played opposite her in The Addams Family. “I never thought I’d be the leading man with Seva May. It was such an honor,” says Maddox. He enjoyed working with her from another perspective – when he was directing. When Darrow was a theatre major at Centenary, Seva joined a class mid-semester. “She was fresh off the circuit having been Miss Georgia and I’ll never forget, Seva entered the room wearing some Jackie-O sunglasses and just looked like a movie star. And we were so lucky to have her.” He has performed in numerous roles opposite Seva. Seva credits actor, costume designer, and director Patric McWilliams, Shreveport native and New Yorker, with teaching
her how to act. They worked together
on her very first theatre production, Applause. When she came to audition, “it was extremely clear she was an amazingly talented person. She could sing the roof off of the building. But she didn’t have background and theatre training and
all of that,” says McWilliams. From her perspective, she would listen to how he spoke lines and then repeat it back. He was teaching her the techniques of acting, like how to break a character down, how to approach lines, pacing and timing and more. “She was what we call a ‘quick study,’” says McWilliams. “Seva has a perfect, musical theatre voice that has a powerful belt to it. Much color in her voice that she could adapt to fit the specific character. Her voice is very supple, and she really just learned how to use it in the various roles that she’s done,” he adds. Over the years they worked opposite each other in leading roles in many shows. As Seva says, there is no saying “cut” during a live performance; you never know what unexpected occurrences or problems might appear, but as they say, “the show must go on.” According to McWilliams, “It was always a joy to be on stage with her because you knew she was solid and knew her stuff. And so it gave me a sense of security, and the back and forth between

us we felt safe with each other on stage. And not all actors provide that. But she did in truckloads.” What would feeling “unsafe” be? “Being with someone on stage when something goes wrong. And they don’t think quickly. And there’s that horrible dead silence. Seva could very quickly ad-lib. She could sense something was wrong at any given moment if something was off course,” says McWilliams. Seva May truly is a Leading Lady, in more ways than one. Seva is known for playing a variety of very different interesting women, from the Spanish dictator Eva Peron, The Baker’s Wife, Mame, Morticia Addams, and more, each fully and forcefully. “When I have a part in a show, I immerse myself in the character,” says Seva. According to Darrow, an actor has to memorize to playwright’s words and then interpret them. They have to be very familiar with the playwright’s intent, and Seva is always prepared in that sense. “Seva’s dedication to any production is unparalleled. She comes to rehearsals prepared. She’s done her homework. And usually she’s playing the leading role. So of course, she wants
to set a good example. And
she does. She is a wonderful performer and cast members love to work with her because she’s prepared.” “When Seva goes out there, the audience just immediately comes to life. They really respond to how Seva is onstage and how she emotes in the way she sings her songs and just the presence that she brings,” says actress and choreographer Anna Maria Sparke. At the age of 15, Sparke was cast in her first show Hello Dolly where Seva was the leading lady. Sparke had never sung on stage before, and describes Seva as having a “gift,” and being kind, giving, and helpful. Seva is the one who taught Sparke how to do her makeup! “Seva was just the person that you aspire to be. She was professional. She was an amazing performer. She had the audience in her hand. And at that point, I kind of wanted to become like her if I could become like somebody. That’s what I wanted to do because she really set the bar high.” Sparke added that Seva really seems to have a heart for working

with children. Seva is currently the drama teacher at Providence Classical School, guiding and directing the next generation of performers. Recently Darrow wanted to find the right vehicle to feature Seva’s talent. He and Seva came up with a two-act autobiographical one-woman musical, Seva May: On My Own, to be performed
at the end of October at the Shreveport Little Theatre. As soon as Shreveport native and New Yorker playwright, director, and screenwriter Erik Champney heard about this idea, he offered to direct the show. Champney first saw Seva in Man of La Mancha, and vividly remembers a specific point in time during the show. “There was such an intensity and such a magic to her to be so completely committed to that moment and all she was doing was being present in the moment. And that’s what made me think ‘I’m gonna do this for the rest of my life.’” Champney and Seva worked together to come up with the idea of telling the story of her life, to develop the script and determine what songs to use and what shows to highlight. “It’s all very interwoven in a meticulous way so that when a song appears, it’s relevant to what she’s talking about,” says Champney. The production will be full of stories and songs and visuals from her past performances. “When Seva puts herself out there, it’s always inside of a character, which she’s really great at doing, but it’s never been her story. Now we’re doing a one woman musical about her and she’s playing herself.” At the show, you will hear who influenced her along the way. You will hear how she balanced career and family. You will hear how she felt when she ended up in the Miss America pageant. You will hear what happens backstage and even sometimes on stage. You will hear how long it took Shreveporter Byron May to call Miss Georgia for a blind date! And you will hear her SING! It’s impossible to translate the magnificence of her voice and the charisma of her performance onto paper. Those who have seen her in action, know. Seva May: On My Own is a must-see performance!


  • A Little Night Music – Desiree
  • Stepping Out – Mavis
  • The Women – Crystal
  • And the World Goes Round – Ensemble
  • Dirty Blonde – Mae West
  • My Fair Lady – Mrs. Higgins


  • Nine – Carla
  • Sweet Charity – Charity
  • Funny Girl – Fannie Brice
  • Mame – Mame Dennis
  • Chicago – Velma
  • Cabaret – Sally Bowles
  • Evita – Eva Peron
  • Into the Woods – Baker’s Wife
  • Grand Hotel – Raphael
  • Jerry’s Girls – Musical Review
  • Little Mermaid – Ursula
  • Little Mermaid II – Morgana
  • Nunsense – Mary Regina
  • The Gingerbread – Lady Toby
  • The Dixie Swim Club – Dinah
  • Godspell – Ensemble
  • Some Enchanted Evening – Ensemble
  • The Sound of Music – Elsa
  • My Way – Ensemble
  • Taffeta Memories – Cheryl
  • Company – Joanne
  • Always Patsy Cline – Patsy Cline
  • The Addams Family – Morticia
  • Sister Act – Mother Superior
  • Auntie Mame – Vera
  • Picnic – Rosemary
  • Hello Dolly! – Dolly Levi
  • Mamma Mia! – Tanja
  • Annie – Ms. Hannigan

Academic – Centenary College of Louisiana

  • Birds of Paradise – Hope
  • Noises Off – Brenda
  • Man of La Mancha – Aldonza
  • Pride’s Crossing – Eve
  • Nunsense II – Margaret Anne
  • Blood Brothers – Mrs. Johnstone
  • Hello Dolly! – Mrs. Mallory
  • Smile – Brenda
  • Annie – Ensemble


On My Own

OCTOBER 28 & 29 – 7:30 PM

OCTOBER 30 – 2:00 PM


BOX OFFICE: 318-424-4439