Meet Billy Elliot: Narberth Community Theatre (Philadelphia, PA)

    The Narberth Community Theatre in Philadelphia will present Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM) at the Overbrook Presbyterian Church, from November 1-16, 2019.

    Narberth Community Theatre (NCT) was founded in 1959 by a group of parents who served on the Narberth PTA.  That first year the parents put on a show called The PTA Follies and, as time went on, these parents decided to start a theatre.  A listing of all the shows presented over the past 59 seasons can be found here.

    For a long part of its first 53 years of existence, Narberth Community Theatre was literally a touring company.  After its early home at the former Narberth School closed in 1979, it moved from one school to another, until 1999 when it began performing as a regular tenant of the United Methodist Church of Narberth.  When that building was sold in 2012, NCT had to look for a new home and found it at the Overbrook Presbyterian Church.

    In its 60th season, Narberth Community Theatre will present three productions beginning with BETM (November 2019), and followed by The Drowsy Chaperone (March 2020) and Neil Simon’s Rumors (May 2020).

    Billy Elliot The Musical

    John Cochrane, Jr., who is the President of the Narberth Community Theatre, will direct the theatre’s production of BETM.  He and Music Director Raquel Garcia proposed BETM to the theatre’s selection committee as a show that would give children the opportunity to perform.  Other factors were the beautiful story and the moving music.

    Adds Dr. Lauren McGinnis, who is the choreographer for the production, “A strong amount of ambition and larger than life numbers, Billy Elliot The Musical was the most daring show I have ever taken on.  Having the opportunity to take on such a tremendous show was an honor and allowed me to push myself as a choreographer.  I believe this show sends messages that we all can believe in: loyalty, acceptance and self love. Through the journey of dance, we all can discover a new part of ourselves that should be set free.” 

    Beginning in April 2019 auditions were announced by sending several hundred fliers to all the schools, dance schools and voice teachers in the greater Philadelphia area, as well as posting the announcement on Facebook and other theatre websites in the area.  By the time auditions were held in June, boys from all over the tri-state area were signed up to try out.

    Mrs. Wilkinson (Maria Leonetti) helps Billy (Dylan Loraw) fine tune his ballet/Photo by Hannah Weissman Photography

    According to Director Cochrane, at the audition one boy stood out over the rest — Dylan Loraw.  States the Director about Dylan, “At the audition, Dylan had a natural talent.  He was confident in his presentation throughout the audition process.  He had a great understanding of the character which was noticed during his singing audition.”  

    Cochrane added, “We asked Dylan to come for callbacks, however he was unavailable.  But something in my gut told me that Dylan was the Billy Elliot I was looking for.  He offered the full package of what it takes to play Billy Elliot.  Dylan is smart, funny and isn’t afraid to tackle this epic role.”

    To learn more about Dylan Loraw, click on the Billy Profiles button (below) to be taken to his detailed profile.
    billy profiles

    To see a complete listing of the rest of the Narberth Community Theatre cast, just click on the Cast Information button.

    cast info

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