Note: Tanner Carlson-Huber’s final show as Billy in Twin City Theatre Company’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Champaign, IL, was on Sep 3, 2017.
Debut: August 25, 2017 (Champaign, IL)
Total Performances as Billy to Date: 8 (No partial shows)
Tanner Carlson-Huber was 12 years old when he debuted as Billy Elliot in the Twin City Theatre Company’s production of BETM. He is from Normal, IL, and is a student at Thomas Metcalf Laboratory School, Illinois State University.
Tanner has been dancing from a very young age. He began tap dancing aged three, and quickly expanded his repertoire, taking ballet classes from the age of four. Tanner takes tap with Mark Yonally, artistic director at Chicago Tap Theater, and also attends tap festivals in the midwest. He recently attended the Twin City Tap Festival in Minneapolis, MN. He also trains in the Vaganova style of ballet with Ken and Michelle Masi Bello, the founders of USA Ballet, Bloomington, IL.
Tanner discovered a love for acting when he attended a summer theater camp in 2016 at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington. At the camp he played the role of ‘Toulouse’ in The Aristocats, under the direction of Rhys Lovell.
On top of acting and dancing, Tanner is also a talented musician. He trains in percussion, particularly the marimba, and also plays the oboe. Last May Tanner performed with his school Orff group in Nashville, TN, where they recorded two songs in Studio B, which is famous for having hosted big names such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and many others. Tanner also turns his hand to composing. He is a self-directed composer, and has composed and arranged a full-length piece for his fifth grade band, entitled The Washerwoman. He is currently composing music for the digital games that he and his older brother, Tucker, are creating for future distribution. Furthermore, he is in the process of choreographing tap to the music of a digital game storyline.
Tanner first heard about the audition for Twin City’s production of BETM through a friend of his mothers’ (yes, two). Tanner was familiar with the show as he had seen the US Tour of BETM when it was showing in Peoria, IL, a few years ago. Also, many people thought that he would be a fine performer in the role of Billy.
Twin City Theatre Company ran a Billy Camp earlier in the year, which Tanner attended, to start the search for their Billy. They were impressed by Tanner’s numerous talents and cast him in the lead role. Rehearsals for the show started in July. This is a great experience for Tanner as the production is being directed by Donnie Kehr, an original cast member of Billy Elliot the Musical on Broadway. This means that Tanner is getting the unique opportunity to learn from a real expert on the show.
Tanner is really excited to be starring as Billy Elliot — his dream is coming true! When he steps on stage for his debut performance on 25-Aug-2017 he becomes the 213th actor worldwide to play the role in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.
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