Director-choreographer Donna Feore searched the country to find a superstar who could take on one of the toughest roles in musical theatre.
She needed a triple-threat actor with top skills in ballet, the stamina to lead a 2½-hour musical and the ability to portray wonder, love and anger with unflinching honesty.
Perhaps the greatest challenge of all: she needed someone to do all of that at just 11 years old.
She found the star of Stratford’s Billy Elliot the Musical in Vancouver, B.C.: Nolen Dubuc, who built his budding career on a dream of playing this very role.
He was only four when he first saw the musical and told his parents he wanted to play Billy, the coalminer’s son with a passion for dance.