SHOWSTOPPER

With big blue eyes, freckles and a flirtatious smile, twenty-two-year-old Alexandra Kopko has a very girl-next-door look, but she’s hardly your typical girl next door. When the stage is set and the mike is hot, Kopko is a showstopper, commanding audiences with all the range and panache of a headlining diva. “I don’t think I ever thought I was going to do anything else,” Kopko says, cupping a mug of tea at the Bean on Centre Street, “it was just always assumed that I’d be some kind of performer.” Now, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and a minor in musical theater from Marymount Manhattan, this Nantucket native is setting off, like so many hopeful thespians and vocalists before her, to pursue her dreams in the Big Apple.

“My dad always says, ‘You have a good face for theater,’ which he swears is a compliment,” Kopko says, raising an eyebrow as she takes a sip of her tea. “My dad is a musician and a director and actor. My mom is also theatrical. She did Educating Rita here at Actor’s Theater and got rave reviews.” Kopko’s father, Michael, is the co-artistic director of the White Heron Theatre Company and directed her in the lead role of Luisa in Nantucket Theatre Workshop’s acclaimed production of The Fantasticks back in 2011.

Since then, she has performed in Theatre Workshop musicals, such as Annie, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Grease, and most recently, she nailed the lead role in a production of Sweet Bye and Bye at the York Theatre in New York City.

While her first love is musical theater, Kopko is now breaking into film. She’s acting on web shows, such as the forthcoming “Why the Hell is She Asking Me That?” by Red Productions, and has also been cast as Mika VanAdler in Nantucket Sounds, a Raucous Bacchus production (with original screenplay by Nantucketer Andrew Cromartie) that will be filmed on island in 2014. “It started out being a cut and dry summer romance,” Kopko explains. “But the story is evolving, and now it’s about the complexities of relationships and what happens when one person starts looking for something outside of the relationship. It’s going to be really fun.”

In the meantime, Kopko is returning to New York with all the gusto and optimism of a young, talented twenty-something who wants to make it in the big city. But she is not naïve; she acknowledges that she’s going to need to keep her morale up and avoid getting knocked down. Still, Kopko asserts that she’s enamored of the actor lifestyle. “It’s kind of like living in New York,” she explains. “You have to love it for the bad stuff as well as the good. You have to love the rats in the subway and the sketchy people, the fact that everyone is stressed out all the time, the dirt and the grime. With acting, you have to love the failure, rejection and struggling, too.” Only time will tell if Kopko has what it takes to break into the big time, but whatever happens, she will always have a stage to grace here on Nantucket.