NTPA Plano is celebrating Pride Month with a special production of Billy Elliot June 9-12 at the Rodenbaugh Theater at the Willow Bend Center of the Arts.
Performed by students in grades 5-12, the production tells the inspiring story of a young boy’s journey as he exits the boxing ring and enters a ballet class, where he discovers a passion for dance. Billy struggles against all odds, including the death of his mother, opposition to cultural norms, and a disapproving father as he struggles to fulfill his dream and ultimately inspire his family and community.
Winner of ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Billy Elliot The Musical is a spectacular show full of heart, humor and passion. Named “Best Musical of the Decade” by TIME Magazine, Billy Elliot is based on the international hit film and features a score by music legend Elton John.
Billy Elliot is led by Vice President and General Manager, Mike Mazur. “I am the son of a policeman and grew up in a world similar to Billy’s. Discovering the arts has given me a new perspective on life as a child, and I am humbled and honored to have found a career teaching children to be proud of who they are and their uniqueness. This show is all about pride! Pride in yourself, Pride in your work, and Pride in expressing yourself the way you want. And Pride in be part of a community of people who love you for who you are.”
Mike says NTPA intended to schedule Billy Elliot to perform during the month of June to celebrate Pride Month and as part of its larger diversity production series. Planned in conjunction with the NTPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, the series includes several youth productions each year that focus on telling the stories of diverse characters on stage. While these stories are sometimes difficult to tell or watch, the NTPA believes it is important that young people of all races, ethnicities, genders, and neurodiversities can explore and tell these stories in a safe and supportive environment.
The musical is choreographed by DeeDee Munson and directed by George Variames.
The incredible cast includes North Texas students in grades 5-12, including Ella G. who plays Debbie on the show. Ella says the show is very relevant to today’s students, “Things [like dancing] shouldn’t have ‘gender’ labeled and it makes me so excited that it’s finally being talked about on a show, how a young child experiences their identity, which is what a lot of teenagers and kids are going through these days.”
The show touches several cast members personally. Oliver M., who plays George, said: “One of my closest family members who believed in me from the very beginning passed away after I started questioning my identity. My aunt was her -even gay and I knew she would have been one of my biggest support systems (like Billy’s mom)… One of my best friends who was comfortable with her identity taught me that no matter what people think, as long as you’re yourself, my family members who weren’t sure about my expression started to realize it was me.”
Billy Elliot performs June 9-12 at the Rodenbaugh Theater at the Willow Bend Center of the Arts, 6121 W. Park Blvd. B216, Plano, TX 75093. For complete performance dates and tickets, go to ntpa.org/tickets.