Ancaster girl plays leading role in Theatre Aquarius’White Christmas

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

Twelve-year-old Jessica Rakoczy can pinpoint the exact moment when she fell in love with theatre.

Jessica, an Ancaster resident, will take to the stage next week as Susan Waverly in the Theatre Ancaster production of White Christmas.

When Jessica was just seven, her family took her to see Mamma Mia, the musicial in Toronto. Jessica and her parents sat in the first row of the balcony, where it seemed as though actress Robin Hutton was singing directly to Jessica. Later that same year, Hutton appeared in a Theatre Aquarius production of The Sound of Music.

Jessica was also part of the show, playing the role of Gretl, the youngest daughter of the von Trapp family.

Set in 1954, White Christmas tells the story of Second World War veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who join forces to become a song-and-dance team. Davis introduces Wallace to a pair of sisters, Betty and Judy, who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy visit a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis come along. They discover their former commander, General Waverly, is now the lodge owner. Jessica plays the part of general Waverly’s daughter, Susan, who journeys from California to Vermont to visit her father.

Jessica’s role includes a solo vocal performance called Let Me Sing and I Am Happy. Her role also includes a variety of dance routines. Jessica is an avid dancer, with years of ballet, tap and jazz training to her credit.

Jessica will play the role of Susan for half of the show’s run. Remaining performances will feature Mountain resident Marina D’Amico.

Despite her young age, after years on stage in other productions such as The Sound of Music and Oliver, Jessica has nerves of steel and remarkable stage presence.

“I never get nervous,” Jessica said. “When you’re on stage, it just happens.”

Jessica has spent years honing her performance skills with the Theatre Aquarius Performing Arts Program. She’s been involved with the summer workshop program since age 6. Jessica attends Holy Name of Mary School in Ancaster.

Jessica is also the first theatre performer in the family. Her parents have no performance background.

“I think we were more nervous than she was,” said her father, Dave, recalling Jessica’s first stage role.

Jessica recently started vocal lessons with instructor Tom Oliver. In preparation for White Christmas, Jessica will attend eight-hour rehearsals, every day except Monday, while balancing other duties, such as her school work.

Several young performers have used Theatre Aquarius as a springboard to other opportunities in television and film. Jessica’s theatre friends have acted in Boston Pizza and Swiss Chalet commercials, plus small movie roles.

“This is a great chance for her to get some good exposure like that,” said Dave Rakoczy.

When it comes to her two main interests, dancing and singing, Jessica said both pursuits play an important part in her life.

“Maybe I like dancing a little bit more, but I love singing,” Jessica said.

White Christmas debuts on Nov. 27 and runs through Jan. 3 with matineée and evening performances. For a complete schedule and ticket information, visit www.theatreaquarius.org or call the theatre box office at 905-522-7529.

Ancaster girl plays leading role in Theatre Aquarius’White Christmas

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

Twelve-year-old Jessica Rakoczy can pinpoint the exact moment when she fell in love with theatre.

Jessica, an Ancaster resident, will take to the stage next week as Susan Waverly in the Theatre Ancaster production of White Christmas.

When Jessica was just seven, her family took her to see Mamma Mia, the musicial in Toronto. Jessica and her parents sat in the first row of the balcony, where it seemed as though actress Robin Hutton was singing directly to Jessica. Later that same year, Hutton appeared in a Theatre Aquarius production of The Sound of Music.

Jessica was also part of the show, playing the role of Gretl, the youngest daughter of the von Trapp family.

Set in 1954, White Christmas tells the story of Second World War veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who join forces to become a song-and-dance team. Davis introduces Wallace to a pair of sisters, Betty and Judy, who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy visit a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis come along. They discover their former commander, General Waverly, is now the lodge owner. Jessica plays the part of general Waverly’s daughter, Susan, who journeys from California to Vermont to visit her father.

Jessica’s role includes a solo vocal performance called Let Me Sing and I Am Happy. Her role also includes a variety of dance routines. Jessica is an avid dancer, with years of ballet, tap and jazz training to her credit.

Jessica will play the role of Susan for half of the show’s run. Remaining performances will feature Mountain resident Marina D’Amico.

Despite her young age, after years on stage in other productions such as The Sound of Music and Oliver, Jessica has nerves of steel and remarkable stage presence.

“I never get nervous,” Jessica said. “When you’re on stage, it just happens.”

Jessica has spent years honing her performance skills with the Theatre Aquarius Performing Arts Program. She’s been involved with the summer workshop program since age 6. Jessica attends Holy Name of Mary School in Ancaster.

Jessica is also the first theatre performer in the family. Her parents have no performance background.

“I think we were more nervous than she was,” said her father, Dave, recalling Jessica’s first stage role.

Jessica recently started vocal lessons with instructor Tom Oliver. In preparation for White Christmas, Jessica will attend eight-hour rehearsals, every day except Monday, while balancing other duties, such as her school work.

Several young performers have used Theatre Aquarius as a springboard to other opportunities in television and film. Jessica’s theatre friends have acted in Boston Pizza and Swiss Chalet commercials, plus small movie roles.

“This is a great chance for her to get some good exposure like that,” said Dave Rakoczy.

When it comes to her two main interests, dancing and singing, Jessica said both pursuits play an important part in her life.

“Maybe I like dancing a little bit more, but I love singing,” Jessica said.

White Christmas debuts on Nov. 27 and runs through Jan. 3 with matineée and evening performances. For a complete schedule and ticket information, visit www.theatreaquarius.org or call the theatre box office at 905-522-7529.

Ancaster girl plays leading role in Theatre Aquarius’White Christmas

News Nov 19, 2009 Ancaster News

Twelve-year-old Jessica Rakoczy can pinpoint the exact moment when she fell in love with theatre.

Jessica, an Ancaster resident, will take to the stage next week as Susan Waverly in the Theatre Ancaster production of White Christmas.

When Jessica was just seven, her family took her to see Mamma Mia, the musicial in Toronto. Jessica and her parents sat in the first row of the balcony, where it seemed as though actress Robin Hutton was singing directly to Jessica. Later that same year, Hutton appeared in a Theatre Aquarius production of The Sound of Music.

Jessica was also part of the show, playing the role of Gretl, the youngest daughter of the von Trapp family.

Set in 1954, White Christmas tells the story of Second World War veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, who join forces to become a song-and-dance team. Davis introduces Wallace to a pair of sisters, Betty and Judy, who also have a song-and-dance act. When Betty and Judy visit a Vermont lodge to perform a Christmas show, Wallace and Davis come along. They discover their former commander, General Waverly, is now the lodge owner. Jessica plays the part of general Waverly’s daughter, Susan, who journeys from California to Vermont to visit her father.

Jessica’s role includes a solo vocal performance called Let Me Sing and I Am Happy. Her role also includes a variety of dance routines. Jessica is an avid dancer, with years of ballet, tap and jazz training to her credit.

Jessica will play the role of Susan for half of the show’s run. Remaining performances will feature Mountain resident Marina D’Amico.

Despite her young age, after years on stage in other productions such as The Sound of Music and Oliver, Jessica has nerves of steel and remarkable stage presence.

“I never get nervous,” Jessica said. “When you’re on stage, it just happens.”

Jessica has spent years honing her performance skills with the Theatre Aquarius Performing Arts Program. She’s been involved with the summer workshop program since age 6. Jessica attends Holy Name of Mary School in Ancaster.

Jessica is also the first theatre performer in the family. Her parents have no performance background.

“I think we were more nervous than she was,” said her father, Dave, recalling Jessica’s first stage role.

Jessica recently started vocal lessons with instructor Tom Oliver. In preparation for White Christmas, Jessica will attend eight-hour rehearsals, every day except Monday, while balancing other duties, such as her school work.

Several young performers have used Theatre Aquarius as a springboard to other opportunities in television and film. Jessica’s theatre friends have acted in Boston Pizza and Swiss Chalet commercials, plus small movie roles.

“This is a great chance for her to get some good exposure like that,” said Dave Rakoczy.

When it comes to her two main interests, dancing and singing, Jessica said both pursuits play an important part in her life.

“Maybe I like dancing a little bit more, but I love singing,” Jessica said.

White Christmas debuts on Nov. 27 and runs through Jan. 3 with matineée and evening performances. For a complete schedule and ticket information, visit www.theatreaquarius.org or call the theatre box office at 905-522-7529.