Filed Under:  Arts & Culture, News, Theatre

11-year-old local talent selected to go to National Youth Theater Festival

3rd September 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Kelly Parker
Contributing Writer

It takes most people a while to figure out what we want to do in life; but for some, the calling comes at a young age. In the case of 11-year-old Dallas George, the future includes the bright lights of Broadway, and he’s not allowing any obstacles to get in his way.

The local 6th-grader is part of the Jefferson Performing Arts So­ciety’s Theater Kids competition team, and has been involved in theater since the age of nine.

Dallas George

Dallas George

The L.W. Ruppel Academy for Advanced Studies student won a lead role in his very first (JPAS) audition.

“He was in The Seussical (The play based on the books of Dr. Seuss) and he’s being doing it ever since.” says his Mom, D’Amica Smith George.

George is the only African-American performer selected to this year’s Competition Team, which will be heading to compete at The National Youth Theater Festival at Walt Disney World in February 2014.

“They will be performing the musical (Shrek) and they’ll get to go behind the scenes at Disney World; they’ll also have auditions for solo performers –which is an extra fee, but knowing Dallas, he wants to do it.” George says.

His goal is to take on the role of Simba in the Broadway version of The Lion King.

“I want to pursue a career in acting,” Dallas George says. “I want to be on Broadway; and this is just one step closer to that dream.”

The experience, would a memorable one for Dallas, but also costly for his family.

“The expenses are all on the parents, George adds. “The trip in its entirety is nearly $1,200 per person, and competition fees come up to roughly $3,000. But he’s such a great kid. I’d just like for him to have this reward, to compete with his teammates.”

George, and her husband Ebon, turned to gofundme, the fundraising platform that allows individuals to accept donations for events, celebrations and challenging circumstances.

“I’m just trying to raise money, reaching out to anyone who can help,” D’Amica Smith George states.

Competition ex­penses must be paid by December 15, with the first payment due in mid-September.

Young George has excelled in academics, theater, along with baseball this summer; all while battling chronic asthma.

“I just have the mentality that I just want to do it and I don’t want to stop.” he says.

“And I just do a lot of breathing exercises.”

“He is on six medications a day; but you’d never know it,” his mother told The Louisiana Weekly,” he was hospitalized 10 times due to his asthma, but he doesn’t let it stop him.”

“He is always willing to help someone; whatever he can do. We (as a family; the four of us) sometimes get bags and go downtown and feed the homeless,” George added. “We experience struggles, but it never phases him.”

To learn how you can help Dallas join his fellow performers next year, visit his site: www.gofundme.com/HelpDallasGoToDisney.

This article originally published in the September 02, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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