New Upper Davyn Gottfried ’25 “Transcends” the Musical Theater Scene at Andover

Impassioned actor and singer Davyn Gottfried ’25 has taken the musical theater and Andover arts scene by storm after entering as a new Upper, securing both a solo in Grasshopper and the lead role as Fiona in Shrek the Musical. In the few short months she has been here, Gottfried has taken advantage of the wide range of opportunities available to her: from a capella groups on campus, to the musical production. Through these avenues, Gottfried has been able to discover a sense of community and foster strong friendships.

“As a new student, especially a new Upper, social scenes have been difficult because everyone knows each other, so I got involved in the arts as soon as I could. Currently, I’m involved in [Academy] Chorus, [The] Fidelio [Society], Downbeat, and now, Shrek the Musical. It’s so motivating to be surrounded by so much talent at Andover. The depth of involvement from both teachers and students is nothing like I’ve ever seen from any of my previous schools. I love being surrounded by that and it’s really inspired me,” said Gottfried.

In addition to being inspired by her peers, she has also become a source of inspiration for them. One of her closest friends and fellow actor/singer, Alex Giarnese ’25, has learned copious amounts from observing her work ethic and her ability to navigate criticism. 

“From working with her in Shrek, just really embracing your talents and embracing what you love to do and not listening to what anybody else has to say…  she just does amazing with blocking out any kind of criticism and working super hard and moving past any setbacks that might come about, and she’s so hard working when it comes to things like that,” said Giarnese.

Before Andover, Gottfried lived in Avon, Connecticut, where she pursued singing and acting primarily through various theater productions, choral groups, and singing opportunities through her Synagogue. Throughout her upbringing, singing and acting have always been a significant part of her life.

“I can’t really remember a time when acting, singing, or music in general wasn’t in my life. I come from a pretty musical background, my mom sings and my dad plays guitar. So, because they’re involved in the arts, I was introduced to it at a young age. I was talking to them earlier… and they said since I started talking, I began singing and acting. I would make up my own songs or perform skits for my family,” said Gottfried.

As she has gotten older, her intrinsic drive and passion for song-writing has continued. In addition to being heavily involved in the musical theater scene at Andover, she is also pursuing independent projects.

“I’m also planning on dropping an album, probably by the end of the summer… It kind of explore[s] my transition from my old school to Andover… I am piecing together original pieces that I’ve been working on throughout the year,” said Gottfried.

Across Gottfried’s different avenues of singing and acting, one thing that remains consistent is her ability to incorporate her lively personality into her art. Giarnese remarks how seamlessly Gottfried integrates her personality into her acting and voice.

“She’s a soprano, so [her voice is] beautiful and high, and it kind of transcends and brings you to a different dimension when you hear her sing. Her acting style is very outgoing and bubbly and exciting, you can tell that while she’s acting she’s also having a lot of fun, and you can kind of see Davyn under there, with her character. It’s like, ‘Oh this is Fiona, but I can also see Davyn.’ I can see her bubbly personality coming through [her character of Fiona] and it works really well,” said Giarnese.

As Gottfried familiarized herself with the character of Fiona, she also realized that there was more to the character than she initially predicted. She has enjoyed the process of becoming the character thus far, and is equally proud of the production and cast.

“It’s really fun because everyone thinks her character is fairly surface level, or at least that’s what I thought when I first was introduced to her but there’s so much to her that I’m learning about every time I go to rehearsal, and it’s so interesting. Everyone should see [Shrek the Musical] because it’s amazing, it’s a great production,” said Gottfried.