Theatre Charlotte is celebrating its 90th birthday this year! (We say happy birthday and you don’t look at day over 80.) That type of longevity produces a lot of locally talented performers who had their start on the Theatre Charlotte stage. Here are five local performers to keep an eye on and if you haven’t heard of them yet – don’t worry, you will!
Her work: A graduate of Northwest School of the Arts, Abby first appeared as a Who from Whoville in the Theatre Charlotte production of “Suessical” in sixth grade. She went on to win a Blumey Award for best actress for her portrayal of Fiona in the Northwest School of the Arts production of “Shrek.” She is currently starring in the national Broadway tour of “Fun Home” which comes to Charlotte this summer.
Nick de la Canal
His work: A graduate of Myers Park High School, Nick is locally known for dropping trou during his graduation ceremony. Less controversial stage appearances include Theatre Charlotte productions of “Suessical”, “Smoke on the Mountain,” and “Annie” as well as the inaugural Student Theatre Guild production of “Sweeny Tood.” Nick is a graduate of Emerson in Boston and a reporter for WFAE.
What he has to say: “If you ask my grade school teachers, they’ll tell you I was the kid who couldn’t keep his mouth shut. After-school theatre gave me a chance to be as loud as possible.”
His work: A graduate of UNCC with degree in architecture, Zachary is the musical director behind most of Theatre Charlotte’s most popular shows including “Avenue Q”, “Gypsy”, “The Addams Family”, “Saturday Night Fever” and and the Grand Nights for Singing cabaret series. He has also worked with Matthews Playhouse, CPCC, Old Courthouse Theatre and others. And don’t worry, that architecture degree isn’t going to waste – he applies his magic to set design including the Theatre Charlotte production of “Harvey.”
What he has to say: “I began studying piano at age six and my love of music brought me over to the theatre. I realized that I could get involved with musicals in middle school and have been hooked ever since.”
Her work: Born and raised in Charlotte, she is a former teacher at CMS Metro School. Her first leading role was Dionne in Theatre Charlotte’s production of “Hair.” Dani also appeared in Theatre Charlotte’s productions of “Footloose,” and “Saturday Night Fever” and performed in Grand Nights for Singing. You might have also caught her in costume as a performer at Renaissance Festival.
What she has to say: “Being in ‘Hair’ was a bit life changing for me. I found out a lot of new things about myself that changed the way that I look at things. And, I came out of that show having made some amazing friends. I love that part about performing. ”
His work: A fifth grade teacher at Trinity Episcopal School, Jay completed a prestigious summer intensive at The Globe in London two years ago. He has since made his Charlotte stage debut as Harker in Theatre Charlotte’s “Dracula” and recently played Tony Manero’s older brother in “Saturday Night Fever.”
Happy 90th Theatre Charlotte! These amazing talents are a great way to celebrate. So is the 90th birthday bash May 6 at The Big Chill on Morehead Street. We’re talking jazz bands, dinner, dancing and so much more. Join in the fun and get ready for your close up.