Bellbird girl Emma Gilmore has secured a lead role in Hunter Drama’s upcoming production of DreamWorks’ Shrek The Musical Jr.
The 15-year-old landed the part of Pinocchio in the 56-strong cast, which will take to the stage at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre in the next school holidays.
More than 300 hopefuls audition, and Emma sang, danced and acted her way into the hearts of the show’s producers and directors.
“It’s a great role; I would have liked to have been any of the fairytale creatures, but I turned out to be good at Pinocchio,” she said.
A year 10 student at the Hunter School of Performing Arts, Emma joined Hunter Drama in 2009, and has performed The Witches, Beauty and the Beast and the 2014 hit production of The Little Mermaid Jr.
As part of the Little Mermaid Jr cast, she had the opportunity to travel to the United States for the International Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2015.
More than 5000 people, including theatre industry professionals and celebrities, attend the festival each year.
This opportunity has been presented to the cast of Shrek the Musical Jr, and Emma is looking forward to travelling to Atlanta once again in January next year.
The Hunter Drama contingent will also visit New York City where they will take part in workshops and attend Broadway shows.
“It’s a double whammy! Not only was I lucky enough to secure a lead role in the show, but I get to travel to Broadway and Atlanta to take my skills to the next level,” Emma said.
In the meantime, rehearsals for Shrek The Musical Jr are in full swing on Wednesdays and Sundays until the week of the show, when they will rehearse every day.
“The choreography is coming together really well, it’s all going fantastic,” Emma said.
“It’s an amazing team of people.”
Hunter Drama director Daniel Stoddart said Emma will make the perfect Pinocchio.
“Emma has grown with Hunter Drama over the years and this is a huge opportunity for her that she has worked really hard for,” he said.
Shrek The Musical Jr will run at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre from September 29 to October 1.
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