Eleanor Hannan doesn’t want to be a princess. She wants to be more.
Rather than wait for a prince (or anyone else!) to come and rescue her, Eleanor has the drive and determination to rescue herself. Her talent and hard work has allowed her both to share her gifts with others through theater performances as well as to act as a role model for younger cast members.
Eleanor’s theater performances have kept her quite busy over the past few years. She has performed onstage with DSHA Community Theatre Works (HAIRSPRAY), West PAC (WIZARD OF OZ), Sunset Playhouse School for the Arts (ADDAMS FAMILY, GUYS & DOLLS JR., HIT THE ROAD JACK, AND DR. SNOW), West Allis Players (WIZARD OF OZ), Tosa East Players (TARZAN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), Tosa West Trojan Players (WIZARD OF OZ) and Children’s Theatre of Wauwatosa (WIZARD OF OZ, THE FROG PRINCE, PETER PAN).
She also was chosen to be a member of the First Stage Touring Company last year, an audition-only performance group of 5th-12th grade students who develop a 30-minute show and then spend the school year bringing that show to the community. This year’s show dealt with gun violence, self esteem and bullying. Eleanor bravely relied on a personal experience with bullying as she shared this important message with others.
In her “free time”, Eleanor also won an essay contest through All City Read, became a published poet and author, plays flute and piano, is in her school’s Gifted and Talented program and just earned her Girl Scout Bronze Award.
We had a chance to ask Eleanor a few questions. We think you’ll agree that what she does on stage is second only to who she is off-stage!
“I’m not going to be like the storybook princesses
and sit around waiting to be rescued!
I am going to help myself!” – Eleanor Hannan
Q & A
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why?
A: A structural biochemist and an actor. A few years ago, I read a book about bacteria and learned about antibiotic resistant bacteria. It scared me, but I also thought it would be cool to help solve this problem. I also love to be on stage and perform!
Q: What do people say when you tell them that?
A: They usually ask me what a structural biochemist is and also say I’d be good as an actor.
Q: Do people ever call you “princess” and, if so, how does that make you feel?
A: Yes. I really don’t mind because I’m not going to be like the storybook princesses and sit around waiting to be rescued! I am going to help myself!
Q: What does it mean to you to be a princess?
A: To me, a “princess” is something little girls want to be but don’t really understand completely. I think people use that word with little girls when they have on a pretty dress or look cute.
Q: How did you become interested in theater, music and writing?
A: I started singing after seeing a few movie musicals when I was little. I used to sit outside on my swing and sing my heart out! I have been studying with a voice teacher for two years. I started playing piano in first grade and more recently began to play the flute. My mom took me to lots of children’s theater shows throughout my childhood, and I just knew I wanted to be on stage. I started taking drama classes as soon as I was old enough and was cast in my first play in 3rd grade. I’ve done thirteen shows since then! I love words. I am very interested in learning new words and expanding my vocabulary. Writing allows me to do this and to express myself.
Q: You recently developed a production with the First Stage Touring Company that featured bullying as one of its issues. How did your personal experience with bullying impact your perspective of the show?
A: I wrote a monologue about bullying for the show based on my experience. It felt good to write it. First Stage Touring Company was a safe place, and it was helpful for me to write it all down and get it out. It was very empowering. Bullying affects so many kids. I feel it is important for them to know they are not alone.
Q: Do your family and friends support you?
A: My family are my biggest supporters! My 5th grade teacher was really supportive of me when I was being bullied. Some of my friends support me, some don’t.
Q: Did you ever think you’d be called an “amazing girl” for choosing to do this?
A: No! I would hope that everyone would have the courage and support to stand up for themselves. It’s hard to do, but you deserve better.
Q: What three words would you like people to use to describe you?
A: Brave. Strong. Creative.
Q: What do you want people to know about you outside of your accomplishments?
A: I want people to know that I work hard to achieve my goals. Things don’t always come easily to me. Also, I have interests beyond math and theater!
Q: If you could have ice cream with one person, whom would it be?
A: Sutton Foster, my favorite actor
Q: What advice would you give to a girl who wants to be just like you?
A: Things aren’t always going to go your way, so look for the good things!
Bonus Question: What question would you ask the next Amazing Girl we interview?
A: Who is your favorite historical figure?
- Her favorite Olympic moment was watching Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin helping each other after they collided in their race.
- Eleanor’s favorite subject in school is math.
- Her favorite song is the entire Hamilton Broadway cast album!
- Eleanor chooses vanilla over chocolate.
- Her favorite quote is “Never accept anything less than you deserve.
Remember, you teach people how to treat you.”