Harris to tread boards at top academy

A DREAM has come true for Launceston's Bonnie Harris, who in October will be heading to New York on a two-year scholarship to study drama.

The 20-year-old, who for the past couple of years has been nurturing her singing and dancing career in Melbourne, has earned a place at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

With Madison Avenue soon to be her address, Harris is back in Launceston packing her life into a kitbag.

``I auditioned on May 4 and heard the good news a couple of weeks ago,'' Harris said.

``It's exciting, but also a little daunting as I don't know anyone in Manhattan, but it's a real dream come true.''

Harris's scholarship is for two years with the possibility of a bachelor of arts if she is accepted for a further two years at the academy's other base in Los Angeles. College begins on October 20.

``I'll just concentrate on these two years first, and see what happens,'' Harris said.

``If for no other reason than cost, because even though I have won a scholarship it is still going to be a very expensive exercise.''

Harris found her stage feet early. She recalls it was PCYC Youth Theatre with Danny Gibson where she first experienced how exciting performing for an audience could be when she appearing in its 2009 production of  Guys and Dolls.

From there she became involved with Stompin as well as developing her acting, dancing and singing skills as a student at Launceston College.

``I had fantastic teachers at Launceston College - Liz Bennett, Travis Hennessy and Cheyne Mitchell gave me so many opportunities.''

It was at the Princess Theatre where she shone as Sharpay in  High School Musical  for the Encore Theatre Company and Katherina Cavalieri in Launceston musical Society's  Amadeus, after making the stage her own at college in such productions as  Back to the '80s  and  Aida. 

Two representatives from AADA came to Australia for auditions. Harris was required to present a monologue, sing a song in the musical theatre genre, write an essay and be prepared for an interview.

``What really came through in the interview was that they were looking for experience as much as talent because AADA prides itself on alumni who offer the ``triple treat'' of dancing, acting and singing''.

 Bonnie Harris, of Launceston, is off to New York in October to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

Bonnie Harris, of Launceston, is off to New York in October to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS

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