In Alumni, Department of Theatre and Media Arts

The pair performed together in the cast of Mean Girls after years of friendship 

Swain and Petersen backstage at “Mean Girls.”

When Jake Swain and Becca Petersen found out they would be starring alongside each other on Broadway, it was a dream come true.

Swain — who grew up in Orem — discovered his love for acting at a young age, and after realizing accounting was not the major for him, he pursued a career in theatre. Petersen also began dancing as a child and found her passion for performing while growing up in Indiana.

The pair met while Petersen studied Music Dance Theatre and Swain studied Acting at BYU. Petersen still remembers meeting Swain during a sophomore year improvisation class.

“I walked into our sophomore year improv class and noticed a new classmate joining our core group of major students. From day one Jake was outgoing, kind, driven and genuine,” Petersen said. “We hit it off right away and have remained close friends ever since.”

Swain remembers looking up to Petersen and her talent for acting in those early years at BYU.

“I remember one scene, in particular, we did in our improv class where I really noticed Becca,” Swain said. “She was so open and good at being vulnerable while at the same time being direct. I was impressed.”

Swain and Petersen went on to perform and travel around the world together in BYU’s Young Ambassadors — including touring for a month in China.

The pair parted ways for a few years when Petersen moved to New York City after graduating from BYU a year before Swain. Petersen performed in a workshop of the musical “The Prom” the national tour of “Newsies,” and made her Broadway debut in the musical “Bandstand.” In 2018 Petersen joined the cast of Mean Girls as a dancer in the ensemble, understudy for Cady Heron, understudy for Karen Smith, understudy for Regina George and dance captain.

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