Note: Tommy Druhan’s final show as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Newark, Ohio, presented by the Weathervane Playhouse, was on August 10, 2019.
Debut: August 1, 2019 (Newark, Ohio)
Total Performances as Billy: 9 (No partial shows)
Tommy Druhan was 12 years old (d.o.b. = 3-Oct-2006) when he debuted as Billy in Billy Elliot The Musical at the Weathervane Playhouse. Tommy is a resident of Upper Arlington, Ohio and will be entering the 7th Grade at Hastings Middle School there.
Tommy began acting at age seven. His performance training has included:
- Private lessons with Stephanie Henkle
Tommy says he’s thrilled to be returning to Weathervane, after playing a newsboy in the December 2018 production of Gypsy. His most recent onstage performance was playing the title role in the Bishop Harley High School production of James and the Giant Peach in May 2019.
Other theatrical performances:
- Young Will in Big Fish (2018) – Otterbein University
- Chip in Beauty & The Beast (2018) – Palace Theater through Pleasure Guild of Nationwide Children’s Hospital
- Zeus/Ensemble in Xanadu (2018) – Columbus Children’s Theatre
- Timon in The Lion King (2017) – Columbus Children’s Theatre
- Uncle in Charlotte’s Web (2017 – Columbus Children’s Theatre
Tommy is a member of the Columbus Children’s Choir and, in May of last year at age 11, won the 2018 Voice of the City for his age group. He sang Naughty by Tim Minchin from Matilda the Musical.
For the majority of its shows Weathervane holds both local and non local auditions. To find its Billy Elliot though, they had to look no farther than Columbus. As had been previously mentioned, Tommy’s introduction to Weathervane Playhouse was being cast in Gypsy there. He says it was a “fun, positive experience” that he enjoyed thoroughly. Through his involvement in that production, he learned of this year’s production of BETM at Weathervane and was thrilled when offered the title role.
When asked about the choice of Tommy Druhan to play Billy in BETM, Director Kirsten Upchurch replied:
“I was unfortunately not a part of auditions for this production, and cannot speak to the specific things that lead us to this decision. However, I can attest that I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the amazing talent and kindness that our star, Tommy Druhan, possesses. I have had a character conversation with Tommy and his understanding of the character and Billy’s struggles is multi-dimensional. He pulls from his own experiences with his older brother, and also has a strong imagination that is detailed and both realistic and abstract at the same time. I know we made the right choice in our Billy, and what he will be able to bring to the role.”
Rehearsals for the BETM production began for Tommy on 10-Jul-2019 during which he rehearsed for three hours per day. He was joined by the rest of the cast the following week for seven hours per day per week. Rehearsals then ran right up until the opening of the production on 1-Aug-2019.
When Tommy stepped onto the Weathervane stage for his debut performance as Billy, he became the 273rd young actor worldwide to take on the title role in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.
Tommy’s view of the role of Billy: “He’s a shy boy whose world has turned around because his mom has just died. He’s sad … and feels like he’s all alone, because his dad is busy with the strike.”
“My favorite part of playing Billy is probably the dancing”, he said. “Billy thinks dance is the coolest thing … but is scared to show his dad that he wants to dance. His dad doesn’t support him because he thinks dance is a girl thing. I think dance is a boy and girl thing. Whoever wants to dance, they can dance.”
For more information about Tommy Druhan, visit: