Emily Dante who can currently be seen on the Coaster Theatre stage as Molly Ralston in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is a home-making, home-schooling, co-owner of Dante Construction, full-time wife, and full-time mother. She and her wonderful husband Erik live in the Manzanita/Nehalem area with their five kids, eight chickens, black lab, and a duck named Mildred. Emily moved to the Oregon Coast over fifteen years ago to attend Ecola Bible School and never left! Emily dreamed of becoming an actress since she was a little girl who couldn’t decide between all the things she wanted to do when she grew up; getting to act all those things solved the problem! She was involved in theatre, both on and off stage, all throughout middle and high school. After moving to Cannon Beach, a 2003 newspaper ad for auditions at the Coaster Theatre introduced her to the Coaster Theatre stage via 1942 Christmas From Home. Since then she’s had the privilege of playing Lavinia in Whodunnit, Maria in The Sound of Music, Emily in Our Town, Mary Hatchet/Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life and currently Mollie Ralston in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. Emily has also performed the The Story of Gomer, a one-woman show about the redeeming love of God at many churches throughout Washington and Oregon. She also helps lead worship at Calvary Bible Church where she and her family are very active members. In her “spare time” she enjoys singing, playing the piano, writing songs, gardening, sewing, weaving, painting, building, baking….basically everything except welding- that’s next!
1. What is your present state of mind?
Mostly ordered chaos. My mind is usually in quite a few places at once. There’s always at least one or two projects brewing, today’s to-do list, a song, and a faint recollection that I’m forgetting something…usually this turns out to be that I must, in fact, make dinner. How does that always sneak up on me?!
2. Who are your favorite playwrights?
Not having read many, let’s go with what I reread: J.M. Barries’ “Mary Rose” and “What Every Woman Knows.” I enjoy them immensely and would love to see them staged.
Besides Barrie, I can go with my daughter Hannah. She sometimes writes “history plays” based on what we are studying in school, and either cons or convinces her siblings to help her present them.
3. Your favorite musician?
I love music but I can’t give you a favorite musician because I’m plagued by indecision! It depends on what I feel like listening to at the moment I do love a cleverly-rhymed lyric and tight harmonies. I love music in a minor key, music that requires you to tap your foot or dance, and I find I often like a well-done parody of a song better than the original.
4. Who are your favorite characters?
My children. But don’t get me started on them or we’ll be here all day!
5. Who are your heroes in real life?
Jesus. A hero is someone you look up to, admire and try to emulate; as a Christian my ultimate goal is to be like Jesus and so I’m learning to live in compassion and love but not shying away from God’s truth.
6. What natural gift would you most like to possess?
The gift of conversation. My friends may not agree but I feel very socially awkward most of the time, always struggling with small talk and figuring out how to get past, “Hi, how are you?”
7. What is your most marked characteristic?
Creativity, hands down.
8. What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty, loyalty, humor, shared interest…because what’s the good of friends if you don’t enjoy doing things with them?
9. If you could be anyone throughout history, who would you have been?
I don’t know that I would want to be anyone else but me, but I’ve always thought it would be fascinating to be me in a different time period, but then I wouldn’t really be the me that is the me now. Oh dear. That will be something to ponder for a bit while I forget to make dinner. I love history and the ordinary people that make it up. I would love to know more of those stories.
10. What is your motto?
“I will sing to the LORD all my life, I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” Psalm 104:33
No matter where, no matter when, no matter what, there is always something to praise God for and this is what I strive to do.
The Mousetrap and It’s A wonderful Life photos by George Vetter / Cannon-Beach.net.