Meet Billy Elliot: Tanner Hagen

    Note:  Tanner Hagen’s final show as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Duluth, Minnesota, was on July 30, 2017.

    Debut: July 13, 2017 (Duluth Playhouse)

    Total Performances to Date:  15 (No partial shows) 

    Born in Hermantown, Minnesota on 24-Jan-2005, Tanner Zahn Hagen was 12 years old and a student at Connections Academy when he debuted as Billy Elliot in the Duluth Playhouse production of the musical.  When he isn’t dancing or performing, Tanner enjoys sports, especially hockey, soccer and baseball.

    Tanner began dancing/performing nine years before his debut as Billy.  Performing is in his blood – both parents trained in Theater and Dance in New York City and now own their own performing arts studio.  Tanner has developed his performing skills with their expert guidance at their studio, Madill Performing Arts Center, in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Contempory, Hip Hop and more.  He’s received additional theater and vocal training from Actor Site, LA Talent and a variety of other venues.

    Junior Mr. Masquerade

    Much of Tanner’s performing experience to date has been as a dancer, performing in countless recitals and dance competitions over the years.  Here’s a couple of examples of that dance talent. Both were filmed at the 2017 Masquerade Dance Competition in Minneapolis.  In the first clip, Tanner performs a Jazz/Hip Hop solo to “Runaway Baby”:

    In the second video, Tanner displays his Tap skills, dancing to “In Summer” from the movie Frozen:

    His performances in Minneapolis earned him the title of Junior Mr. Masquerade at the competition.  

    But make no mistake, this kid is not “just” a dancer.  He can act and sing too, making him a true triple threat.  On stage, his acting credits include an ensemble role in Jekyll and Hyde and he performed as Dance Captain and played various roles in the musical Annie.

    Tanner has acting experience in front of a camera as well.  He played the title role in Timmy Slays the Talent Show, filmed in 2017 before he played Billy, but released in 2018. He has also appeared in an episode of the TV show Fresh Off The Boat.

    As an example of his acting skills, this video clip portrays two brothers squabbling in typical brotherly fashion.  Tanner plays the younger brother and his older brother “in real life”, Cooper, plays the older sibling.  In this clip, watch Tanner’s facial expressions:

    Credit: The above videos by Tanner Hagen

    The Duluth Playhouse production of BETM cast its net across the mid-western US for its Billy.  Tanner auditioned locally for the role.  And when all was said and done, after two call backs, the Playhouse had found its Billy right on their doorstep in Tanner Hagen.

    Rehearsals began on May 22, 2017 and averaged four hours each day, five times per week.

    Upon his debut, Tanner gained the distinction of becoming the 200th boy to bring the title role to life in a professional, regional or community theatre production of BETM.

    For more information about Tanner Hagen visit:

    Billy Elliot the Forum


    To Alphabetical Profile Index

    To the Duluth Playhouse’s Main Page

    To A Complete Listing of All BETM Articles