Meet Billy Elliot: Owen Tabaka

    Note:  Owen Tabaka’s final show as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Arlington, Virginia, presented by Signature Theatre, was on January 6, 2019.

    Debut: October 30, 2018 (Arlington, VA)

    Total Performances as Billy:  40 (No partial shows) 

    Owen Tabaka was 11 years old (d.o.b. = 19-Mar-2007) when he debuted as Billy Elliot in the Signature Theatre production of BETM.  His schooling is done via Calvert Education, which is an online facility.

    Owen loves the arts but also plays soccer and lacrosse, finds the time to work on his acrobatics (aerial, round off back handspring, back tuck and front walkover).  Other pastimes he enjoys are swimming, basketball, golf, tennis and he is great with impressions.  Owen dances in a wide variety of styles but tap is his favorite.

    Owen’s performance training has included:

    • Studio Bleu Dance Center (VA) -present
    • Strictly Rhythm Dance Center (VA) – 2010 – 2017
    • Thommie Retter – Retter Entertainment (NYC) Tap – 2016 – present 
    • Finis Jhung Ballet Coach (NYC) – August 2018
    • Badiene Magaziner Vocal Studio NYC – 2017 – present
    • Bob Marks School of Voice NYC 2016 – present 
    • Jennifer Rudin (NYC) – Acting and casting coach – 2018
    • Broadway Workshop (NYC) – MUSICAL THEATER MASTER CLASS with LAURA OSNES – 2018
    • Cabaret (NYC) – Musical Audition and Performance Workshop with Bob Marks and Denise Simon – 2018
    • POP-UP WORKSHOP (NYC) – with Thommie Retter and stage director-writer Anthony Giunta – 2018
    • 2015 Petite Mr. World Dance Champion and 2016 Petite Mr. World Dance Apprentice
    • Star Dance Alliance – Power Pak attendee 2012 – 2017 and Power Pak Apprentice 2018-2019
    • Jam Youth Project (VA) – Youth Tap Training 2015 and 2016

    Owen was a member of the Washington Wizards Wiz Kids – Hip Hop Children’s performance dance team and is an award-winning dancer in The World Dance Pageant (2015 Petite World Champion).  Here is a video of his winning performance:

    Credit: Video by Christine Tabaka

    He has also participated in The Jam Youth Project, which is a pre-professional tap dance company in Washington D.C., and has won awards in dance both as a soloist and for partner work and group numbers.

    Prior performance credits include:


    • Thommie Retter’s Jingle Jam (Dancer)
    Owen Tabaka at Thommie Retter’s Jingle Jam in 2016


    • A Raisin in the Sun (Travis Younger)  Two River Theater
    • A Christmas Story (Professional debut as Grover Dill)  National Tour


    • Oliver! (Charley Bates)  Goodspeed Musicals
    Owen Tabaka as Charley Bates in Oliver! (second from right)

    A highlight of Owen’s career thus far has been making his television debut in an episode of Sesame Street where he got to tap dance with Elmo (January, 2017).  Other on camera work includes the Macmillan Educational Series – Principal – Macmillan Education – New York City, New York – May 2018.

    Billy Elliot The Musical at Signature Theatre

    Owen learned of the Signature Theatre production of BETM through his manager Jody Prusan of Connecting Talent Company and his agent, Nancy Carson of Carson-Adler. He auditioned in New York City on July 2, 2018 and was called back the next day with three other young boys to audition again.  He was placed on hold for the role the next day and cast in the role of Billy Elliot shortly thereafter.

    Owen started preparing for the role Billy Elliot the moment he was cast by taking 1.5 hours a day of ballet throughout the month of August and September with Alex Stewart and twice a week for four weeks with Finis Jhung in New York City.  He also trained vocally with Badiene Magaziner Vocal Studio and with Joy Hermalyn weekly.

    Owen Tabaka (Billy) in rehearsal for Billy Elliot

    He started BETM rehearsals on September 17, 2018 with a week of ballet training at Signature Theatre.  Owen and fellow Billy Liam Redford both started Billy school at Signature Theatre September 25, 2018 and the rest of the cast joined rehearsals on October 2, 2018.

    Rehearsals have been six days a week and include singing, dancing, continued ballet training and acting and two hours a day of tutoring.  Per his mom, Chrissy, Owen has loved every minute of it.

    When Owen debuts as Billy on the stage of the Signature Theatre, he will become the 257th boy in the world to play the role of Billy Elliot in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.

    For more information about Owen Tabaka, visit:

    Billy Elliot the Forum


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