New York City's acclaimed Children's Acting Academy (CAA), which made world headlines in September 2010 when four of its student actors were invited to participate as the United States representatives in the first ever international children's theatre exchange in London, England, is proud to announce more major successes by members of its student body.
This past November in New York, 10-year-old CAA student Oona Laurence was introduced as one of the four young actresses who will share the starring role in Matilda the Musical on Broadway in the Spring; Ethan Khusidman, also 10, recently made his Broadway musical debut in Chaplin, as an Ensemble player and understudy for the young Charlie Chaplin; Ethan Major, 11, who has been a private coaching student at CAA for the past three years, recently completed the national tour of Billy Elliot; nine year old Ness Krell, who has been studying with CAA since 2009, has a role in a new John Turturro movie with Woody Allen, Sharon Stone and Sophia Vergara; and Elle Winter, appearing on Radio Disney's Next Big Thing, finished as the first runner-up in the Final Round of the nationally televised competition.
Oona Laurence, one of the four young actresses cast to rotate in the starring role as the precocious lead when the Royal Shakespeare production of Matilda The Musical makes its New York debut at the Shubert Theater in April, is duly excited by the prospect of making her Broadway debut in the musical based on Roald Dahl's 1988 book about a girl who unleashes her magical powers on nasty parents and an evil headmistress. "It sounds like a lot of fun," says the young thespian.
A native New Yorker, Oona started acting at the age of five as the lead in her Dad's experimental film Days Dance. Since then she has played leads in numerous Columbia University graduate films, and last summer was voted "Best Performer" by the audiences of The Turtle Shell's Summer Play Festival for her Philosophical Banana in The Cosmic Fruit Bowl. An awesome jazz, hip-hop, ballet and modern dancer, she has studied drama at The Children's Acting Academy for two years and performed in one of the company's musical stage productions. Oona and her three rotating co-stars, who will each star in the role twice a week, will have large shoes to fill; all four Matildas in the London production were jointly declared Best Actress at the recent Olivier Awards, the UK's most prestigious theatre award which rivals Broadway's Tony Awards.
Ethan Khusidman, a ten-year-old native New Yorker who is currently making his Broadway stage debut in the musical Chaplin at the Barrymore Theater, studied at the Children's Acting Academy during the 2011-2012 school year. He is a member of the Chaplin ensemble, has a role as the Usher and is the understudy for the young Chaplin and young Jackie Coogan. Ethan made his theatrical debut as Gavroche in the National Tour of the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Miserables. His other credits include (Off Broadway): Harry Finfer/Tommy Mara in the Actors Fund Benefit reading of Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical. He also had roles in the films Dark Was The Night and Making Friends; and made an appearance in TV's The Whitest Kids U'Know.
Ethan Major, 11, has been taking private coaching instruction at the CAA for the past three years. He was cast as one of the "Michaels" in the national tour of Billy Elliot in July 2012. Born in Texas, Ethan received his early drama training at children's acting schools in suburban Atlanta.