At age five, when Nolen Dubuc saw his first performance of Billy Elliot the Musical, it sparked a fire within him. “It became a goal for me to play this role,” says the Vancouverite, now 11-years-old and making his Stratford Festival debut as the lead in the iconic musical.
Co-star Emerson Gamble, 13, was also five-years-old when he saw the show that would change his life: a Broadway performance of Newsies. “It was unforgettable – the sheer talent of these male dancers – all of them jumping, soaring and hovering in the air. Watching them tap dance perfectly in sync and so crisp was fantastic … and it showed me where I could end up,” explains the London, Ont.-born actor, who plays the role of Michael, Billy’s best friend.