October 26, 2023

MSM Student Spotlight:
Meet Kianna Kelly-Futch, a featured performer in MSM Musical Theatre’s Forget Me Not

Kianna Kelly-Futch is an MSM senior Musical Theatre major from Washington, DC studying with Samuel McKelton. She plays the role of Nia Banks in Forget Me Not taking place October 27–29 at The Riverside Theatre.

Kianna spoke with us about the MSM production, her time at the School so far, and her advice for prospective Musical Theatre students.

Above photo from the Fall 2023 MSM Musical Theatre Production VALENTINO’S TANGO 


Kianna started her performing arts journey in church, and began studying voice and piano professionally by age 5. As a BIPOC crossover soprano, she’s worked with Ottley Music School, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington National Opera, Divine Dance Institute, and Urban Change Productions. Kianna is also a former D.C. representative of the Miss America organization.

AT MSM, Kianna is a Residential Assistant (RA) in Andersen Hall, serves as the Secretary on the executive board of the Black Student Union, and is an active member of MSM’s Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society.


OCT 27–29 | FRI–SUN

Tickets required
$15 adults, $10 non-MSM students and seniors

The Riverside Theatre
91 Claremont Avenue
New York, New York 10027


The poster art for Forget me not

Tell us about Forget Me Not! What’s the musical about?

Kianna: In 1998, Regina the Whale washes ashore, bringing attention to a coastal town. The town is captivated by this exciting news until Pete the Journalist reopens a investigation about a murder that has haunted the community. The musical is inspired by the incident of a whale that exploded  in Oregon in 1970, and also by the disheartening murders by a serial killer on Long Island in the 1990s. Throughout the show the community wonders what it needs to do in order to not be forgotten.

Why should people come and see this performance?

Kianna: The contemporary feeling of the show is phenomenal. The audience is taken on a comedic and emotional roller coaster ride. Every character gets to shine in their own way and plays an important role in helping tell the story. Also, the musical addresses relatable themes of change and adversity and how it impacts a community in the past versus the present time. Every song, scene, and detail is of value, that’s why coming to see the show is a must!

Tell us about your role in this show!

Kianna: The role I am playing in the show is of Nia Banks. Like myself, she is an ambitious student who is very serious about her studies. She loves botany biology and makes an effort to plan for a safer environment for the natural world. She is one of the girls who went missing and was unfortunately murdered by the sea.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Kianna: This year, I am looking forward to graduating with honors and continuing to grow in all my classes. I’m also looking forward to directorial leadership as a Residential Assistant in MSM Andersen Hall and being Secretary of the Black Student Union!  This spring, I will be featured in MSM’s production Nine as Liliane La Fleur; I’ll also perform in BSU’s Black History Month Concert, APO’s Night of Color, Winter Cabaret, Dance Show, and most importantly Senior Showcase!

What’s your favorite thing about studying at MSM?

Kianna: Authenticity is praised! I’ve learned that being yourself at MSM gets you the results you want rather than trying to impersonate someone that you are not. Everyone is made differently for a reason and should take advantage of their strengths and embody them fiercely.

“Everyone is made differently for a reason and should take advantage of their strengths and embody them fiercely.”

What piece of advice do you have for anybody interested in pursuing MT at MSM?

Kianna: For people interested in studying Musical Theatre at MSM, be ready to work. MSM will challenge you beyond your limits and will help you develop your own triple-threat emerging-artist brand in return. Stay open-minded. There is knowledge all around campus to be had. Try not to be your own worst critic. You don’t want to fall into the temptation of comparing yourself to others. Always believe that you can and will achieve!

What are you listening to right now?

Kianna: I am listening to a wide playlist of my favorite songs that consists of oldies but goodies, Gospel, R&B, Hip-hop, and so much more! My mom, who is also my best friend, tells me I have good taste in music, and with my playlist, I can definitely get a party started. If you ever need to take a walk, grab a bite to eat, or need music suggestions for social gatherings, let me know. I got you!

Kianna Kelly-Futch performing at the Verdi Square Festival of the Arts

MSM Musical Theatre

Forget Me Not

OCT 27 | FRI
7:30 PM

OCT 28 | SAT
2 PM & 7:30 PM

Oct 29 | SUN
2 PM

Produced by Special Arrangement with Kate Thomas and Joey Contreras

Book and Lyrics by Kate Thomas
Music by Joey Contreras

Catie Davis, Director
Brian Russell Carey, Music Director

The Sunday, Oct 29 performance will include a talkback following the performance.

Tickets required
$15 adults, $10 non-MSM students and seniors

The Riverside Theatre 
91 Claremont Avenue
New York, New York 10027

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