Starring in Billy Elliot the Musical is a dream come true for the Stratford Festival’s youngest performers

11-year-old Nolen Dubuc (centre) renders a career leap as Billy in the Stratford Festival’s manufacturing of the much-loved musical.

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At age five, when Nolen Dubuc witnessed his first performance of Billy Elliot the Musical, it sparked a fire within him. “It ended up being a goal for me to play this function,” states the Vancouverite, now 11-years-old and making his Stratford Festival deyet as the lead in the iconic musical.

Co-star Emerson Gamble, 13, was also five-years-old as soon as he experienced the present that would change his life: a Broadway performance of Newsies. “It was unforgettable – the sheer talent of these male dancers – every one of them jumping, soaring and also hovering in the air. Watching them tap dance perfectly in sync and also so crisp was terrific … and also it showed me where I might finish up,” explains the London, Ont.-born actor, that plays the role of Michael, Billy’s best friend.


Emerkid Gamble (left) plays Billy’s ideal frifinish Michael and states the character has actually inspired him to find confidence in his very own evolution as a performer.

Like the movie that influenced it, Billy Elliot the Musical is about realizing your dreams in the time of those in-in between years that have the right to feel especially thorny and hard to navigate. Set in a bleak mining town in the time of England’s mid-1980s miners’ strike, the story traces 11-year-old Billy and his love of ballet in the wake of his mother’s fatality – and also his father and brother’s disapproval. Alongside Billy’s journey right into dance, Michael poignantly explores his own sexuality and personality.


In the musical, Billy’s father (Dan Chameroy) inevitably offers Billy the support he requirements to succeed.

His mom, Allison, states Emerson’s perdeveloping arts training has actually positively shaped his outlook and also that of his younger brother, Oliver, 11, who is likewise actors in the production, in a variety of methods.

“It has actually impacted their self-confidence. Being in the arts has enabled them to meet many different kinds of people and also to be open up to various situations. And I’m constantly amazed by their resilience and endurance with performances, training, institution and also commuting,” she claims.


A ballet sequence featuring Dubuc and Colton Curtis as an older Billy clues at the effective future of the young dancer.


At some point, capturing a matinee through youngsters is about more than chasing Broadmeans desires (dreams which can encompass any type of variety of creative and behind-the-scenes duties in collection architecture, lighting, costumes and also more).

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“Theatre feeds the soul. It teaches empathy, it teaches storyinforming and it enables viewers to put themselves right into various other people’s situations,” Allichild claims.

Kristin adds that theatre additionally sparks meaningful discussions. “So many type of of the mirrors we’ve seen as a household have actually triggered insightful conversations.

Hamilton opened up dialogue about both the American Civil War and also the prestige of diversity in casting. Dear Evan Hansen began conversations approximately teenager self-destruction and also the dangers of social media.”

And Billy Elliot’s spirited story will certainly inspire young theatre-goers to discover their passions with heart, spirit and also – many of all – grit.

Sir Elton John – that created the Tony Award-winning show’s music – recorded the musical’s main message in an interview when it premiered in Toronto in 2011: “Let your youngsters chase their dreams.” You never recognize wright here they might take them.


Blythe Wilkid stars as the ballet teacher that fires up Billy’s love of dance and encourages him to seek his passion.


Nolen Dubuc (centre) as Billy Elliot through members of the company in Billy Elliot the Musical.


From left: Scott Beaudin as Tony Elliot, Dan Chameroy as Billy"s Dad and also Nolen Dubuc as Billy Elliot with members of the agency in Billy Elliot the Musical.


Nolen Dubuc (left) as Billy Elliot and also Matthew G. Brown as Mr. Braithwaite in Billy Elliot the Musical.


Steve Ross (centre) as George through members of the company in Billy Elliot the Musical.

This content was produced by The Globe and Mail"s Globe Content Studio. The Globe"s editorial department was not associated in its production.