BWW Interview: Corbin Pitts of BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL at Argenta Community Theater talks of Billy, auditions, and rehearsal
During this pandemic, life has changed for everyone. Social distancing has put a hold on our dining habits, work schedule, and our pursuit of the stage. So what do you do when you are a performer who can't have an audience? Quite a few have gone to the internet to entertain the home bound patrons. There are numerous singers who have been rocking online concerts. And for the hopefuls that had shows canceled and are waiting for life to resume, they keep practicing their lines and dances, like Corbin Pitts, who will take the lead in Billy Elliot at the Argenta Community Theater, which is now tentatively scheduled for late July. Should the show go on, this will be the first time that Billy Elliot has been performed in Arkansas.
With music from the wonderful Elton John, Billy Elliot is about a boy who discovers his true calling of ballet during a miner's strike in the mid 80s. The story blends the theme of unity with his family and community under duress and personal achievement without having a mother.
Broadway World talked with Corbin on his role and preparation for Billy Eliiot.
BWW: How did you become involved with this production of Billy Elliot The Musical?
Corbin: This is a show that I have wanted to do for a few years. I gave "subtle" hints to the Artistic Director that we should do Billy Elliot at ACT for quite some time. The show has never been done in AR before. When I heard that ACT got the rights to do the show, I began training again because I really wanted to play Billy Elliot and I knew there were a lot of talented young performers here.
BWW: What was the audition process like?
Corbin: I had to come in with a song prepared. I received the sides for Billy once I got to the theater for the audition and learned them while waiting for my turn. Once in the audition room, I sang and did the sides for the creative team. There was a dance call for everyone a bit later that evening. After the dance call, I was asked to come back in several times to read with other people. I was also asked to come back the next day and read with others auditioning.
BWW: What has rehearsal been like?
Corbin: I officially began rehearsals in March with the choreographer 2-3 times a week and with a few cast members and the director once a week. I have been working with my voice teacher on some of the music, too, until rehearsals are underway with the whole cast. We have had to take a break on rehearsals now with Covid-19. I am ready to get back into the studio, but did get an inspiring personal video from David Alvarez (one of the original Tony award winning Billy Elliots from Billy Elliot on Broadway) the other day. It was such a surprise and definitely lifted my spirits.
Should there not be another spike during the soft openings, BWW will be in the audience to see this dynamic story at the Argenta in July/August. For the most updated information on this production, visit argentacommunitytheater.org. To check out Corbin's other endeavors, you can find him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.