Maren Morris is still over the moon a day after learning she received a callback for a role in the Broadway play, “Wicked.”
“I’m ecstatic,” Morris said while calling from Indianapolis. “I sent a self-tape audition to see what would happen and I heard back and I couldn’t be happier. I put in some time with a theater coach. It’s not like they offered me the part yet, but I have a chance to be part of ‘Wicked.’ I’m thrilled since I received (‘Wicked’ star) Kristin Chenoweth’s seal of approval (via Twitter). That’s just about as good as getting the part.”
It’s not as if Morris, 32, can fixate on the possibility of starring in an acclaimed production on the Great White Way. The country star is touring behind her latest album, “Humble Quest,” which was released in March.
Some but not all of the songs are impacted by the birth of Morris’ son, Hayes, in March 2020 and the pandemic. “What Would This World Do,” “Detour” and “The Furthest Thing” echo what was happening in Morris’ life at that time.
“All of my songs are personal,” Morris said. “So much came out of the birth of my son, who was born just days after everything changed then (in the middle of March 2020). The whole world was shutting down as I was going into labor. I didn’t get the gravity of the situation during one of the biggest moments of my life. It was pretty eerie being the only person on the floor giving birth the night Hayes arrived. That had a huge impact on me. And then my husband and I hunkered down with our baby and it’s fascinating since no book can prepare you for having a child.”
Nothing prepared Morris for the post-partum depression she suffered after having a C-section. “There was a lot that I went through that wasn’t pretty but I have this beautiful son now.”
Morris, who will perform Wednesday at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, wrote the lovely “Hummingbird” for her boy. “When I found out that I was pregnant with Hayes, I wanted to write a lullaby,” Morris said. “I love a good lullaby. I wrote ‘Hummingbird’ and it ended up on the record. It’s such a special song for me.”
“Humble Quest” is a hopeful, earnest and at times poignant album. “My latest album reflects where I was during that time,” Morris said. “I very much needed to express myself.”
Morris has never been shy about expressing her opinion. When fellow country star Morgan Whalen uttered a racial slur on a video in 2021, Morris called him out. That wasn’t surprising since Morris praised several Black country recording artists, such as Mickey Guyton, Linda Martell and Brittney Spencer, during her CMA Awards acceptance speech in 2020.
“The bones of country music are connected to Black people,” Morris said. “It’s a historical fact. The banjo is a West African instrument. How can we not support so many amazing country artists who are Black?”
Morris has never held back during her career, which has nearly spanned 20 years. It’s hard to believe Morris has been a recording artist since 2007. Her parents financed Morris’ debut, “Walk On,” which she wrote and recorded in 2005.
“My mother and father have been so supportive,” Morris said. “They knew I had this dream and some ability. We all took a chance and it’s worked out beyond my wildest dreams.”
Morris, who lives in Nashville, has released five subsequent albums, including “Humble Quest.” “It’s so great to have a catalog of songs,” Morris said. “I love to write songs as much as I enjoy performing them.”
Expect Morris to write some new tunes as soon as her tour concludes, less than a week after the Dallas native performs at Northern Quest.
“I have so much in me that I want to put into song,” Morris said. “I have plenty to write about.”
However, if Morris lands a part in “Wicked,” who knows what she’ll have time for in the immediate future. It’ll be fascinating to see if Morris, who has limited acting experience, becomes a varied cottage industry, like her heroine, Dolly Parton.
“I think I’m too settled and too lazy to have an empire like Dolly,” Morris said with a laugh. “Dolly is one of the most amazing writers, singers and actresses that there has ever been. And Dolly has a freakin’ theme park. I’m not itching to have a Maren Morris theme park. That would take a lot of work. It’ll take a lot of work just to work in ‘Wicked.’ But I would love to be part of ‘Wicked.’ I’ve done some musical theater and I’ve played myself on TV episodes. I’m ready for the challenge. I’ll come up with a harebrained scheme to make all of this work with ‘Wicked’ and my career as a singer-songwriter. But if it doesn’t happen my plate and heart are full with my music and my family.”