Note: Ryan McCann’s final show as Billy in Firehouse Center for the Arts’ production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Newburyport, MA, was on Aug 25, 2019.
Debut: August 9, 2019 (Newburyport, MA)
Total Performances as Billy: 12 (No partial shows)
Ryan McCann was 14 years old when he debuted as Billy Elliot in the Firehouse Center for the Arts production of BETM. He hails from Reading, MA and will be entering his freshman year this fall at Reading Memorial High School.
Ryan has been dancing for eight years and is grateful to be able to dance in a more accepting time than when Billy was growing up. “It was harder for him (Billy) than it was for me as a dancer and person,” Ryan said. “He was surrounded by people who are aggressive, and he has to keep his feelings in and can’t express them.”
Ryan first auditioned for the show in the spring and rehearsals began in mid-June.
Director Amanda Giglio said about Ryan, “He is such a good dancer. He has two solo dances and the Dream Ballet (danced with Older Billy). It gives us a lot of insight about how Billy feels about each of the characters and how it goes on from there. The importance of music and dance in musical theatre is to move the plot along”.
Adds Will Lombard who plays Billy’s older brother, Tony, “A lot of time, dancers Ryan’s age, they move beautifully, but we do not see the acting and emotion in it.” He says Ryan portrays Billy with a depth that belies his 14 years.
In a “Meet The Cast” feature, Ryan explained what drew him to this production of BETM, “I was introduced to this show by my friend, and have fallen in love with the story and characters in this show. I really enjoy the songs, and also the fact that it is about a boy who likes to dance because sometimes people forget that boys dance also. The cast and crew are so nice and it is such a great community at the Firehouse.”
When Ryan stepped on the stage of the Firehouse Center for the Arts on 9-Aug-2019, he became the 276th young actor to debut worldwide in the role of Billy Elliot in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.
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