Meet Billy Elliot: Peoria Players (IL)

    The 324-seat Peoria Players Theatre

    Peoria Players will present a regional production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) from May 5-14, 2017 at their theatre in Peoria, Illinois.

    Peoria Players is the oldest continuously running community theatre in the state of Illinois, and the fourth oldest in the USA.  The company first came into being in 1919, then located in the Peoria Women’s Club.  Their first production was The Maker of Dreams.  Not long after this, Peoria Players relocated to an empty firehouse on Jackson Street.  In 1957 this theatre was demolished and so they moved to their new home, a building at the intersection of University Street and Lake Avenue, where they remain to this day.

    BETM is the last show to be presented in Peoria Players’ 2016-17 season.  The production is being co-directed and choreographed by two dancers and performers – Erica Franken and Sarah Beth Leasor.  

    Franken said about the show, “We are proud to bring the regional premiere of Billy Elliot to Peoria Players.  It is sure to blow the audience away.”  She went on to say, “Although the characters are fictional, the history behind the story is factual.  We are very fortunate to have dialect coaches Jane and Paul Prest, originally from Northern England, who witnessed the struggles first hand. They have been an invaluable resource to bring accuracy and heart to the story.”

    A few days before the show opened, this promotional video was released, which includes clips from the show and interviews with some of the members of the cast:

    Credit: Video by

    Leading the Peoria Players cast will be Tyler Lankston, a newcomer to the role of Billy Elliot.  To learn more about Tyler, 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 Peoria Players cast, just click on the Cast Information button.

    cast info


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