Meet Billy Elliot: Mitchell Welsh

    Note:  Mitchell Welsh’s final show as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) at the Gallo Center for the Arts (Modesto, CA), presented by Modesto Performing Arts, was on August 13, 2017.

    Debut: August 5, 2017 (Modesto, CA)

    Total Performances as Billy to Date:  5 (No partial shows) 

    Fourteen-year-old Mitchell Welsh (d.o.b. 10-Jul-2003) is from Modesto, California, where he will be entering his freshman year at Downey High School for the 2017-18 school year.

    In previous years, while at the La Loma Junior High School, from which Mitchell graduated at the end of the 2016-17 school year, he was very active in the school choir.

    Previous performing experience includes:

    • 2016 – Les Miserables – School Edition (YES Company) at the Gallo Center for the Arts.
    • 2015 – Michael Banks in Mary Poppins (YES Company) at the Gallo Center for the Arts.
    Mitchell Welsh (front row center) in the YES Company’s Mary Poppins (2015)

    Though not of the best quality, this video clip will give the reader an idea of the excellent singing voice possessed by Mitchell.  He’s seen in the video performing a solo at a school function.

    Credit: Video by Nicole Aquino

    For MPA’s production of BETM, auditions were held in December 2016.  At the end of them, a young actor, Mitchell, was brought in.  He had been recommended to the Director, Paul Tischer, as someone who had great potential, though with not a lot of acting experience. 

    Tischer and Rene Daveluy, who is the Central West Ballet (CWB) Artistic Director who has choreographed “Billy Elliot” for MPA (a first collaboration between Daveluy and MPA), agreed to cast Welsh with the understanding that he would start dance rehearsals immediately.  So since January 2017 Mitchell has been rehearsing six times a week, working with CWB and Daveluy.

    It’s been a perfect experience for Welsh, says Daveluy.  “It’s his first experience being thrown into the swimming pool, being told to jump into the swimming pool and swim.  It’s kind of a metaphor for the role of Billy Elliot, because he’s learning in (his) life at the same time he’s learning in the play, learning to dance.”

    And the result, says Tischer, has been wonderful.  “His dancing in the show is nothing short of sensational.  And now he is one of the best male dancers I have ever seen,” Tischer said. “His dancing is breathtaking.”

    And now MPA audiences will get to see that result, as Mitchell Welsh brings all that talent to the stage at the Gallo Center for the Arts, August 5-13, 2017, becoming the 208th actor in the world to bring the role of Billy to life in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.

    For more information about Mitchell Welsh, visit:

    Billy Elliot the Forum


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