NTPA Plano Celebrates Pride with Production of Billy Elliot
NTPA Plano celebrates pride month with a special production of Billy Elliot performing June 9-12 at the Rodenbaugh Theatre at Willow Bend Center of the Arts. Performed by students in grades 5-12, the production tells the inspirational story of a young boy’s journey as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, where he discovers a passion for dance. Billy struggles against the odds including the death of his mother, opposing cultural norms, and an unapproving father as he fights to make his dream come true and ultimately inspires his family and community.
Billy Elliot the Musical Performing June 9-12 at Willow Bend Center of the Arts
Winner of ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Billy Elliot The Musical is a spectacular show full of heart, humor and passion. Named TIME Magazine’s “Best Musical of the Decade!”, Billy Elliot is based on the international smash-hit film and features a score by music legend Elton John.
Billy Elliot is directed by Vice President and Managing Director, Mike Mazur.
“I am the son of a police officer, and grew up in a world similar to Billy. Discovering the arts gave me a new perspective on life as a kid, and I am humbled and honored that I have found a career teaching kids to be proud of who they are and their uniqueness. This show is all about pride! Pride in yourself, Pride in your work, and Pride in expressing yourself however you want to. And Pride in being a part of a community of people who love you for who you are.”
Mike says NTPA was intentional about planning for Billy Elliot to perform during the month of June as a celebration of Pride Month and part of its larger Diversity Production Series. Planned in tandem with NTPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, the series includes several youth productions each year that focus on telling stories of diverse characters on stage. While these stories are sometimes challenging to tell or watch, NTPA feels it is important for youth of all races, ethnicities, genders, and neurodiversities to be able to explore and tell these stories in a safe and supportive environment.
The Musical is Choreographed by DeeDee Munson and Music Directed by George Variames.
The incredible cast features North Texas students in grades 5-12 including Ella G. who plays Debbie in the show. Ella says the show is very relevant to students today,
“Things [like dancing] should not have a labeled ‘gender’ and it makes me so excited that it is finally being talked about in a show, how a young kid is experimenting his identity which a lot of teens and kids these days go through.”
The show hits home personally for several members of the cast. Oliver M. who plays George says,
“One of my closest family members who believed in me since the very beginning passed away closely after I started questioning my identity. My aunt was queer herself and I knew that she would have been one of my biggest support systems (like Billy’s mother)…One of my best friends who was comfortable with their identity taught me that it doesn’t matter what people think, as long as you are being yourself. After I started showing more confidence in being myself, those family members who were unsure about my expression started to understand that this is me.”
Billy Elliot performs June 9-12 in the Rodenbaugh Theatre at Willow Bend Center of the Arts, 6121 W. Park Blvd. B216, Plano, TX 75093.