HIGH HOPES - Red Deer’s Tevra Plamondon

Local youth sets sight on iconic role

Tevra Plamondon selected as finalist for The Wizard of Oz

A local young woman is among 20 finalists from across Canada who hope to fulfill their dream of planning Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz.

Tevra Plamondon, 16, was named a finalist after she auditioned for the role in Calgary last month as part of the CBC television show, Over the Rainbow, which is on the hunt for the next Dorothy. She is only one of two young women vying for the spot from Alberta.

Over the Rainbow will run on CBC this September. Host Daryn Jones will unveil the Top 10 finalists who will compete in singing and dancing competitions on Sundays. Eliminations will take place on Mondays.

The show recently wrapped up a Canadian tour in search of finalists to play the lead role of Dorothy Gale in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz. The musical is set to debut at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre this December.

“In Calgary I got my ‘Ticket to Oz’ which meant I had made the Top 100 and had to go to Toronto. At the Toronto audition they split us into three groups. I was about the 12th person to go in my group. The audition was filmed and there was a live accompanist. I sang for the three judges –Over the Rainbow and Tell Me On A Sunday. It seemed to go well,” she said.

Early in the evening officials told the contestants they would announce the Top 20 shortly. However, Plamondon said they waited for two and a half hours to hear the news. “The tension in the room was tangible. It was horrible. We were so nervous.”

After the wait, an official came out and called a series of numbers. Plamondon’s number was called second to last.

“We all went back into the studio and they didn’t tell us we were the Top 20. They were being all mysterious about it. We all stood there for a really long time while they filmed. Finally, after it felt like an hour and a half, the host Daryn Jones starts talking to us and said ‘It was a really tough day and there was a lot of talent. You guys did really well but — but there were a lot of really good girls.’ He took another long dramatic pause before he said ‘Congratulations, you’re our Top 20’. Everybody freaked out,” she said. “I was on cloud nine. Everyone around me was starting to cry and I could not stop laughing.”

In early August Plamondon will travel back to Toronto to attend Dorothy Farm and Dorothy Boot Camp.

“Boot camp will include dancing, singing and acting classes. And then from there I will have to make it to the Top 10. If I do, it will be onto the live show and people have to vote.”

If Plamondon wins the role of Dorothy, following the live shows she will immediately go into rehearsals and have only weeks to learn the part.

“If I was chosen as Dorothy, I would feel absolutely elated. It would honestly be a dream come true. I can’t think of one other thing that I would rather be doing with my time,” said Plamondon. “Even if I don’t make it all the way, which of course I hope I do and I have to stay positive, I have already learned so much and met so many great people that share the same passion as me and are so much like me. To be immersed in such a developed theatre community was fantastic and I’ve already learned so much from the experience. It is honestly amazing.”

In addition, Plamondon is no stranger to playing the role of Dorothy Gale. She was cast as the under study for the part in her high school play this spring.

“Thankfully I had the fortune of doing a couple of extra shows so I got a lot more stage time than I had anticipated. It prepared me really well for this.”

For more information visit www.cbc.ca/overtherainbow.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com