By Jill Fox
Most work for years to achieve their goals, but three Parkland children are reaching their dreams of being on Broadway pretty early on.
Bailey Sheridan, 9, Jack Rodman, 10, and Jacob Harris, 14, made their professional stage debuts in ‘A Christmas Story,’ which opened on Friday, December 13.
The 1983 film, continuously ranked as one of the best Christmas movies of all time, has a musical version of the film of the same name. The classic holiday tale centers on a mischievous boy, Ralphie, who dreams of getting a BB-gun for Christmas.
The Slow Burn Theatre performance, currently running at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts showcases a cast of 27, about half of which are children.
Sheridan, Rodman, and Harris, learned of the audition through Broadway Bound, a Coral Springs-based children’s theatre school, which all three attend. In May, they auditioned with close to 300 other children for the upcoming season of the Slow Burn Theatre Company.
Sheridan, who attends Park Trails Elementary, plays Esther Jane and is thrilled to be in a professional production at just nine-years-old. Her mother, Mandy, said Bailey had grown so much in these few short weeks by learning from the professional actors.
Harris, who plays Schwartz, is a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and is looking forward to his role in their spring production of ‘The Imaginary.’
Rodman, who attends Mary Help of Christians Catholic School, and plays Grover Dill, is no stranger to local theater, having played Little Guido at age seven in a production of ‘Nine’ at the Stage Door Theatre in Margate.
His mother, Lorin, said, “Jack absolutely loves Christmas, so the fact that he gets to combine singing, dancing, and acting with the holiday makes this show pretty much a dream come true.”
Being that this is professional theater, the children get paid for their work, which includes 12-hour per day rehearsals, which began in November.
The children came prepared with lunches and backpacks full of snacks and everything they needed for the day. Since they are working fulltime, they had to miss school but were able to do homework on the set.
Luckily for their parents, a carpool with other Parkland moms and dads kept the driving time to a minimum. The children, who live in the communities of MiraLago, Parkland Golf & Country Club and Parkland Isles, have made this commitment because they share a common goal of one day starring on a Broadway stage.
Mandy said, “It’s a big family commitment, but we are so thrilled for Bailey to be realizing her dream at such a young age.”
The show runs through December 29 at the Amaturo Theater at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts, located at 201 Southwest 5th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.
For a list of showtimes, visit browardcenter.org.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.
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