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Rising Stars

Rising Stars is a wonderful training ground for young performers ages 5 through 8th grade. Rising Stars produces at least 2 full-scale musical productions each year in an effort to give younger actors the skills and opportunity to be on stage in leading roles. Additionally, several Broadway-style intensives/camps are offered each summer along with Musical Theatre Experience classes during the school year (for those in K-5th grade).


Once on This Island JR Audition PosterRising Stars Auditions
Once on This Island JR
Sunday, May 17, 2020
1:30-4:30 pm (Come anytime within time frame)
Franklin Recreation Complex
1120 Hillsboro Rd, Franklin
Ages Kindergarten through 8th Grade

Our Rising Stars Summer Intensive production for 2020 will be Once on This Island JR. Adapted from the celebrated Broadway musical, this rousing Calypso-flavored tale follows one small girl who finds love in a world of prejudice. This production will be directed by Blandina Vergara-Cruz.

For auditions, actors should prepare a Broadway-style song to sing acapella and wear clothes that are comfortable for movement. No registration is required to audition. Some children may have callbacks on Tuesday, May 19. It does not mean that you will not be cast if you do not get a callback. The cast list will be posted Thursday, May 21, at 4:30pm. Due to the size of the venue, no more than 45 children will be cast in this production.

The Cast activity fee is $100. Once the cast list is posted, the Activity Code will be given out. The fee must be paid by June 3 or your child will not be allowed to participate in this play.

Rehearsals will be Monday - Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:30 pm, (although some parts do not require being at every rehearsal) beginning May 26th at the Franklin Recreation Complex. A detailed rehearsal schedule will be given out at the cast/parent meeting held on the first night of rehearsals.

Performances will be June 25-28, 2020 at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park.

About Once on This Island JR:
With its poignant story and catchy Caribbean-flavored score, Once on This Island JR. is a highly original theatrical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s popular fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, and the Tony-nominated Broadway musical by the legendary writing team, Ahrens and Flaherty. Through almost non-stop song and dance, this full-hearted musical tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of her island. When Daniel is returned to his people, the fantastical gods who rule the island, guide Ti Moune on a quest that will test the strength of her love against the powerful forces of prejudice, hatred and even death.

Once on This Island JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.


Interactive Little Mermaid Jr PerformancesThe Rising Stars present Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR
Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park
112 Everbright Ave, Franklin
Thursday, February 13 - 7pm
Friday, February 14 – 7pm
Saturday, February 15 - 10:30am (*Sensory-Friendly Performance)

Saturday, February 15 – 2:30pm
Tickets: $10
Buy tickets HERE.

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories, Disney's The Little Mermaid JR. is an enchanting look at the sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance. In a magical underwater kingdom, the beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, longs to leave her ocean home — and her fins — behind and live in the world above. But first, she'll have to defy her father, King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she's the girl whose enchanting voice he's been seeking.

We've added a fun, interactive experience to this show. Come "be a part of this world"!

*For more information on our sensory-friendly performances, please click HERE.

Disney's The The Little Mermaid JR is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 


FileJulia Nolan
Julia Nolan, with Center Stage Entertainment, has an extensive background in all aspects of the performing arts industry. A graduate of Wagner College in New York City, she has toured the world, appeared in Las Vegas and on cruise ships, performed with Lee Greenwood and Earth, Wind and Fire, appeared in commercials, and had several number one hits in Japan. Prior to moving to Franklin, Julia created The Foundation for Performing Arts in Idaho that produced numerous children's theatre productions each year. Her love of directing and writing revue shows has been seen in many different schools and theatres across the country.

 IMAGEShana Purkey
Shana Purkey, with Center Stage Entertainment, has over 20 years of dance, vocal, and theater training as well as a diverse performance background. Her solo vocal and dance performances have earned her a number of regional and national titles as well as lead musical theater roles. Shana also has an extensive background in pageantry, where she placed 1st Runner up to Miss Georgia. 

 Blandina headshotBlandina Vergara-Cruz
With over 25 years of experience in directing and working in the entertainment industry in Las Vegas and Franklin, Blandina Vergara-Cruz has worked with various theater companies in town, including Pull-Tight Players where she served as a Board Member, advisor of the Teen Youth Actors Guild and director of several musicals in their past seasons. When she’s not teaching, directing or performing, Blandina is involved in community projects like, “Kids on Stage Summer Academy” as the assistant director and community board member of “Tennessee Kids Arts Festival”. 


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