I'll admit, when I heard that Glee was once again adding more cast members to its already super-sized ensemble, I wasn't exactly thrilled. This is the show's final season, and a short one at that. Does it really need to be introducing new characters, when we have just a few episodes to wrap up the entire series? Well, I'm happy (and pretty surprised) to say that, actually, these newest choir nerds could be the best part of Season 6. I'm particularly excited about Glee's newest female showstopper, Jane (Samantha Marie Ware). Jane's sexism storyline was the strongest part of the jumbled season premiere — and honestly, anyone who could bring a little more Janelle Monáe action to Glee is automatically my hero.
The episode "Homecoming" was Ware's first time ever on TV, but the actress certainly didn't look like a newbie. Her character, Jane, transfers to Dalton Academy (Blaine's old all-male alma mater) because all her male relatives had attended the prestigious institution, while she was stuck in a low-performing public school. She brought a Title IX suit, and was granted admission to Dalton. But Jane's crusade for gender equality doesn't stop there: this tradition-busting student wanted to become the first female Warbler. After a brilliant audition, it seemed like she had it in the bag — until Blaine (the new Warblers coach) told her the club had voted not to change its exclusionary charter.
Instead of taking her defeat lying down, Jane quickly transferred to McKinley High, where she's now 20 percent of the newest version of the New Directions. With such a prominent spot on TV's biggest musical extravaganza, Ware's television debut is definitely something to sing about. What else do you need to know about the multitalented star?
She Started Out on Broadway
Like her fellow Glee cast members Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Darren Criss, Ware is also a Broadway baby. (Wow, sometimes you forget that this show, as silly as it sometimes gets, is actually packed with a whole lot of talent.) In 2012 Ware was cast as Nabulungi, a Ugandan princess whom a group of naive Mormons missionaries try to convert, in The Book of Mormon. Before making it in New York, the actress played Nala (another princess of sorts) in The Lion King's Las Vegas production.
She's an Activist, Just Like Her Character
Like Jane, Ware isn't content to sit back when there's sexism, racism, and other social ills happening around her. The newest Glee star has taken political stances on all her social media pages, including commenting on the upsetting news that not a single person of color was nominated for an acting Oscar this year. Right there with you, dude.
Coming Up, She'll Sing More Great Songs by Female Artists
Jan. 16's episode of Glee, called "Jagged Little Tapestry," is pretty much a gift from the gods/Ryan Murphy to every music loving woman who currently owns a pair of ears. All five performances will be Carole King/Alanis Morrisette mashups. I never knew I wanted this pairing before, but now I want it so, so badly. We'll hear Ware sing a mashup of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and "Head over Feet" along with other New Directioner Roderick (YouTuber Noah Guthrie), and "You Learn"/"You’ve Got a Friend” with the entire cast. Ryan Murphy, I bow before you.
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