Interview with Amanda in The Peoria Journal Star, on October 9, 2011 entitled, “Wicked Takes Look at Makeup of Both Witches.”
Born in Valley Forge, Pa., just outside of Philadelphia, Cooper said she grew up attending a public school system with a strong arts program. It made all the difference in her life.
“I used to be a really shy kid and hide behind my mother’s legs, and not talk to anyone,” Cooper said. “In the fifth grade it all changed. I was cast as ‘Steamboat Sal, a talented and lovely gal’ in this musical called ‘Steamboatin’ ’ and something about that experience just changed me as a person. I was able to fully grow into myself and start becoming the person I am today, which was such a blessing.”
She attended Carnegie-Mellon, where she graduated in 2010. During her time there, she met Stephen Schwartz, the composer of “Wicked.” An alum of the school, he returns occasionally to offer workshops for students. Cooper’s performance of “Popular” from “Wicked” caught his attention.
After graduation she worked off-Broadway, auditioning for “Wicked” six times during the course of seven months. She finally ended up in front of the entire creative team — including Joe Mantello, and Schwartz. She got the role.