ASPIRE cast member off to Broadway

St Joseph's High School, Aberdeen student and ASPIRE cast member, Laura Valantine, will be heading to the United States in January with Hunter Drama. 

Hunter Drama will present Shrek The Musical Jnr. in the September school holidays at Civic Theatre Newcastle.

Out of around 300 who auditioned, 14-year-old Laura was selected as an ensemble member in the 53 person cast.

“It was pretty exciting; I didn’t think I was going to get in but I did,” she said.

In addition, she has been chosen to travel to America with some of the cast to compete, as well as attend workshops at Disneyland Florida and Broadway.

Although she is excited about her upcoming theatre opportunities, it takes a lot of dedication from her parents, and determination from Laura, to get her to lessons and rehearsals.

Since first enrolling with Hunter Drama around a year and a half ago, Laura has seen her confidence grow – not to mention her skills, including improvisation and acting.

“You get a different teacher every year and a different group [of students] to have classes with,” she said.

Until Shrek The Musical Jr. opens, Laura will rehearse every Sunday and some Wednesdays.

Laura’s mother Lois said the people at Hunter Drama were supportive.

“I’m very proud and very excited,” she said.

“It’s worth the long distance driving continuously to see her up there [on stage] doing what she loves.

“I’d like to give her every opportunity.”

The St Joseph’s Aberdeen student has been fundraising for her upcoming overseas trip by hosting barbecues, a raffle, and selling chocolates.

Story originally published by the Muswellbrook Chronicle and can be read here.
Photograph courtesy of Betina Hughes.

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