Meet Billy Elliot: Gavin Nienaber

Note: Gavin’s last show as Billy in the Children’s Castle Theater production of Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM) at the Lakeville Area Arts Center, in Minnesota, was on October 23, 2016.

Debut: October 14, 2016 (Lakeville Area Arts Center, MN)

Total Performances as Billy:  8  (No partial shows) 

gavin-nienaberthumbtGavin Nienaber is from Rosemount, Minnesota. At the time of his debut as Billy Elliot he was 12-years-old (D.O.B. = 14-Oct-2004) and in the 6th Grade at Minnesota Connections Academy, which is an online school.  When not performing, Gavin likes to make Lego short films and play with his dog, Drake.

Gavin’s dance training has been at the Ballet Royale Minnesota where he has trained with the guidance and instruction of co-director Rick Vogt.

Gavin has related that he was just four-years-old when he saw his first stage show — a production of Mamma Mia. From seeing that show, he got the “acting bug” and he has since become a fixture in Minneapolis/St. Paul theatrical productions: at Children’s Castle Theater, Old Log Theater, Theatre in the Round, Seasons Dinner Theater, Stages in Hopkins, Children’s Theatre Company and The Guthrie.

Gavin (left) as Young Tarzan
Gavin (left) as Young Tarzan

Gavin has a long association with Children’s Castle Theater (CCT), having performed in shows there eight times prior to his starring role in Billy Elliot.  One of the more recent of these prior productions at CCT was Tarzan The Musical (Young Tarzan).

Other Minneapolis/St. Paul area productions with which Gavin has been involved have included:

  • A Christmas Carol (2014) at the Guthrie Theatre
  • Peter Pan The Musical (2015)  (Michael Darling) at the Children’s Theatre Company


Gavin Nienaber (bottom, center) as Michael Darling in Peter Pan The Musical
Gavin Nienaber (bottom, center) as Michael Darling in Peter Pan The Musical

Credit: Photo by Dan Norman

Gavin also has a movie credit on his resume, having appeared in the short film Stuck In Mute (2015).

Gavin Nienaber (right)  in Stuck in Mute
Gavin Nienaber (right) in Stuck in Mute

Upon his debut as Billy Elliot on 14-Oct-2016, Gavin becomes the 165th young actor to portray Billy in a professional, regional or community theater production of the show.

For more information about Gavin Nienaber visit:

Billy Elliot the Forum, IMDb


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