Artists in Conversation is a weekly column running Wednesdays on

It features a conversation with a local creator or creators going Want To Learn More About Quad-Cities Creators? Welcome To Artists In Conversation!into their artistic process, projects and more. Get to know your local arts scene and local creators better on with Artists In Conversation!

If you’re a local creator and would like to be featured, please email us at or!

You’ve no doubt heard the names Christina Myatt and Olivia Lyman and this weekend
they are on stage together for the first time in Quad City Music Guild’s MAMMA MIA!
Mamma Mia! Music Guild's Myatt And Lyman Are This Week's Artists In ConversationMamma Mia has finally arrived!

How are you two feeling?

OLIVIA: I couldn’t be more excited to share this show with an audience! It is already so much
fun. I know adding an audience will bring the energy up even more than it already is! The cast
has so much fun together (on stage and off!) and I just know audiences will feel like they are a
part of that too. It’s giving me butterflies just thinking about it!

CHRISTINA: I am so excited to be back onstage- especially after the year and a half we have
had! I am loving as we head into tech week and continue to add production elements. Each
new thing makes me more excited for our audiences to experience this production!

Audiences will be welcomed back to the QCMG for the first time since winter 2019. How amped up are you to be the first show back?

OLIVIA: It’s super exciting! I’m so glad we were able to stream Spamalot last month, but I’m really happy we are able to have a live audience for this one!

CHRISTINA: I think this is the perfect show to come back with. It is fun, there is dancing and singing, and it is music that most of our audiences will know. Perfect celebratory, opening up the theatre again show!

Mamma Mia! Music Guild's Myatt And Lyman Are This Week's Artists In ConversationHow does this differ from the film?

OLIVIA: For the most part, the story is obviously the same! There are a couple songs in the musical that aren’t in the movie so some folks might be pleasantly surprised by a few numbers. I also think there’s much more to all the characters in the musical than in the film. We get to learn a bit more about each character, which is super cool!

CHRISTINA: The story is the same, some of the music is different. I also think the stage version really has the opportunity to reel the audience in in a way the film does not. Colleen has often reminded us that the audience should feel like the 4th Dynamo. That is not something you can achieve from a film!

Have you worked together before?

OLIVIA: I have known Christina for years just because of the QC theatre scene but this actually our first show on stage together! I have always been a huge fan of hers, I’ve seen her perform plenty of times and have always been in awe. I still am, just wait until you hear her sing The Winner Takes It All!

CHRISTINA: Liv and I have known each other for years but have never worked together. It has been such fun taking two people who walked in the same circles and who mutually respect each other and admire the other’s work and turn that into a deeper connection and genuine love for what we can learn from each other.

Mamma Mia! Music Guild's Myatt And Lyman Are This Week's Artists In ConversationWas it easy for you slip right into the Mother-Daughter relationship?

OLIVIA: Absolutely! The mother-daughter scenes were some of the first ones we blocked, actually. We fell into that relationship right away and it has only grown since. I think it helped that we both can identify with the characters quite a bit. I am newly engaged and am getting married next year, so I identify with Sophie’s strive for independence but also the “Hey mom, I actually still need you!” because same.

CHRISTINA: Completely. The level of respect made it very easy for each of us to be vulnerable enough to share emotions each of us is familiar with- Liv with being engaged but still needing “mom”, me with seeing my kids “leave the nest” and being proud but also melancholy at times as well.


What is about Mamma Mia that is so appealing?

OLIVIA: The songs are great. They’re familiar and entertaining. But there is also constant theme of friendship throughout the story that makes it very charming. There are so many little moments that make it even more than just the songs. Come for the songs, stay for the bits!

CHRISTINA: Besides the songs of course! It just makes you feel good. It is hard to watch the show and not just smile. In our crazy world these days, the retreat to just joy makes this show a winner each time! This cast is amazing! I couldn’t believe it when I saw the line up! It’s a who’s who of local theatre!

Mamma Mia! Music Guild's Myatt And Lyman Are This Week's Artists In ConversationWill there be a roof on the building when it’s over?

OLIVIA: Thank you so much! The cast truly is stellar. I can’t even begin to list all the super talented folks in it because I would be naming the whole cast! Everyone brings such a unique touch to their characters, especially the audience. There’s subplots on subplots on subplots! It’s
CHRISTINA: This cast is amazing. The ensemble is so hard working and each of them could be a lead. The depth of talent really allows us to handle intricate music and makes each rehearsal a joy. If you watch, you will most surely miss some of the amazing things being done on stage. Ensemble members have their own back stories and create lovely layers to make the taverna come to life. In addition, I get to work with people who I have admired but not necessarily had the opportunity to work with. The camaraderie, support, and caring across the staff and cast has created a great environment in which each of us gets moments to shine!

I imagine these rehearsals have been a blast?

OLIVIA: They are so much fun! First of all, I think everyone is just so happy we are able to do live theatre again! Next, this cast is just incredible. Everyone gets along so well and has so much fun together. It’s impossible not to smile and laugh the whole time. I feel so lucky to be a part of this group! Have I mentioned I’m having so much fun?

CHRISTINA: Absolutely. In a crazy busy life, this has been such a great haven for me. I have always enjoyed going to rehearsals and look forward to the chance to spend time with an amazing group of humans!


What’s your favorite song?

OLIVIA: AH! This question feels impossible. I have changed my answer in my head like 5 times. I’m going to choose Lay All Your Love On Me because it is the most fun to sing (especially with our incredible pit!) AND I can’t wait for an audience to experience some special surprises. Final answer.

CHRISTINA: I love so many of the songs in this show!!!! But, I think it is Winner Takes It All. The rawness of emotion, the ability to “belt your face off”- exhilarating and somewhat cathartic!

Why is this the perfect show for Guild audiences to return with?

OLIVIA: While there are those touching moments, this show is just pure joy. You can tell everyone on stage is having the time of their life. It’s so fun, and I think that’s what people need right now! Just a couple hours to sit back and sing along to some ABBA music.

CHRISTINA: Because it is pure joy- and who couldn’t use a dose of that in their lives these days! It is a great mix of familiar faces and new people to Guild. It showcases so many of the things that Guild is known for- great tech, beautiful original costume creations, amazing vocals,
and a live pit!

MAMMA MIA! opens July 9 and will be the first performance LIVE in the Prospect Park in over two years! Get your tickets online at or call the box office at (309) 762-6610!

Mamma Mia! Music Guild's Myatt And Lyman Are This Week's Artists In Conversation
Tristan Layne Tapscott has been dubbed the “Quad Cities’ P.T. Barnum” and although the person who initially said it meant it as an insult, he happily accepts the title.
Mamma Mia! Music Guild's Myatt And Lyman Are This Week's Artists In Conversation

Free Breaking News
Alerts & Daily Digest
In Your Inbox!