| Apr 17, 2008

Feature Article - April 17, 2008

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Feature Article -April 17, 2008 Going out with a big role – Emily Dickinson tackles Dorothyby Susan StopfordOn May 1, 2, 3, and 4, the North Frontenac Little Theatre group is presenting the musical "The Wizard of OZ". The lead role, that of Dorothy, will be played by Emily Dickinson from Mountain Grove. Emily is not a housebound, poetic recluse like her accidental namesake. Instead she is a bubbly, chatty, thoughtful and exuberant young woman with a slight 'Valley-Girl' lilt, who has just turned 18 and has a hard time being without her cell phone!

Keeping busy is important to Emily, who describes herself as someone who gets "bored easily". Emily's busy schedule certainly precludes boredom. She is in her last semester of grade 12 at St. John Catholic High School in Perth where she maintains a strong A-average. She is on the executive of the student council and is the co-editor of the school paper “The Spartanews”. She is also the co-chair for her school's “Relay for Life” event. In addition to all of this, she also rides a school bus for 15 hours a week and maintains a busy social life!

Emily spent the first 13 years of her life in the Richmond Hill/Newmarket area. Her parents, mum- Andrea Dickinson and stepfather Steve Duggan moved their blended family to a house near Mountain Grove after having bought Sunsets Restaurant in Sharbot Lake. Emily was definitely not interested in leaving her friends, her urban existence and especially her jazz, hip-hop, ballet and musical theatre dance lessons, to move to the country. Though she felt some culture shock on entering grade 8 in Land O' Lakes Public School, one of her favorite sayings is "Things happen for a reason" and it was while at LOLPS that she was cast as Jamal in Brian Robertson's school production of "Aladdin's Magic Lantern". Emily discovered right away that she loved theatre and loved performing! "A live audience gives me energy and I feel calm and happy when I'm onstage" laughs Emily as she admits to having always liked a lot of attention even as a child, when she, as the only child in her parents’ circle, loved to entertain the adults around her.

Emily was encouraged by both her mother and Brian Robertson to audition for parts in NFLT productions and she has had roles in five different plays over the past few years, including that of Liat in "South Pacific". Renny Stopford, who has performed with Emily in various NFLT plays over the years, describes her as being "very professional, quick to learn, easy to get along with and fun, definitely fun!"

Emily auditioned for the part of Dorothy because she wanted a large role to mark the end of her years with NFLT. "One of the biggest benefits of moving to this area for me has been my involvement with community theatre. It has been a great experience for me and I've learned a lot about myself and met people that I really like." says Emily. Even though she is very happy with her part, Emily admits that it's a big role. She's on stage almost all the time, has many songs to sing and hundreds of lines to learn. Luckily she also gets to indulge in her old love, dance.

Next year Emily will be attending Carleton University where she will pursue a degree in Journalism. She looks forward to walking to her classes and is excited to be entering this new phase of her life. She would love to be working in New York as an arts and entertainment, broadcast journalist in 10 years time.

Tickets are available at Gray's Grocery and the Sharbot Lake Pharmacy as well as Verona Rona Hardware. Adults are $12, students $10 and on the Sunday matinee there is a special $5 rate to encourage families with children to attend. Don't wait to get your tickets at the door; they may be sold out. Check www.nflt.ca for more information or call John at 613-279-2662.

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