Sophie McCarlie, 16 with Tiana Simpson, 12 and Matthew Edgar, 14 who are heading to the United States as part of the Kiwi Allstars musical theatre team. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Theatre trio reach for the stars


Three young Nelsonians will be singing and dancing all the way to the United States after getting the call up to represent New Zealand in a global musical theatre extravaganza.

Sophie McCarlie, 16, Tiana Simpson, 12 and Matthew Edgar, 14 all auditioned in Auckland two weeks ago and last week found out that they had made the grade to join 40 other young New Zealanders on the trip of a lifetime.

In New York they will be exposed to performance workshops, meet Broadway stars, see Broadway shows and attend a week-long rehearsal intensive.

There they will learn the choreography and music to a Broadway JR title which will then be presented in Atlanta at the Junior Theatre Festival where there will be more than 6000 other musical theatre lovers.

Then on the way home, the “Kiwi All-Stars” will get a VIP back-lot tour of Universal Studios and visit Disneyland, where they will participate in the Disney performing arts program.
Tiana says that it’s a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

They all hope to continue their performing careers and say the programme is a great way to get experience and exposure.

“Someone could be watching in the audience and say: ‘I want you in my next Broadway show’,” says Sophie.

The trio will travel during the 2020 January school holidays but until then they have their work cut out for them, having to raise the almost $10,000 to go on the trip.

“It will be a lot of saving and working,” says Matthew.

They also have plans for sausage sizzles and a fundraising concert.

They wanted to thank Nelson Youth Theatre for all the support in getting them to the auditions in the first place.

“They have been amazing,” says Sophie.