Winnipeg's Colleen Furlan, 19, right, and Ottawa's Stephanie Larochelle, 17, left, wait to audition for the role of Dorothy during the CBC auditions for the new Mirvish play Over The Rainbow in Toronto on Thursday June 21, 2012. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim, The Canadian Press)
Twenty aspiring young musical theatre actresses from across Canada will compete for the plumb role of Dorothy in CBC-TV's new series Over The Rainbow.
On June 26 producers unveiled the list of 20 names heading to the next stage and whittled down from the masses who attended auditions across Canada in recent weeks.
Of nearly 40 young women who auditioned from Manitoba, seven were chosen to go on to the next round. One Manitoban made it to this list of 20. She is Colleen Furlan of Winnipeg.
Furlan is in her first year at the University of Manitoba studying at the Faculty of Music. She is the recipient of the 2012 Rainbow Stage Trophy/Scholarship and is the 2012 Provincial Highland Adult Dance Champion. Furlan has a number of principal roles under her belt. She's performed in A Funny Thing Happened at the Office, Snapshots, Get Your Act Together and Street Scenes.
The young performers will spend the summer training at a musical theatre boot camp to hone their singing, dancing and acting skills. The goal is to be one of 10 contestants to compete live on television this fall on the Over the Rainbow broadcasts.
The winner will star in a forthcoming Mirvish-Andrew Lloyd Webber production of The Wizard of Oz, slated to open in Toronto in December.
A triumph in the TV competition can help launch the winner's career. In 2008, budding actress Elicia Mackenzie nabbed the lead role of Maria for a Toronto production of The Sound of Music by winning the CBC reality series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? She went onto roles in We Will Rock You and Rock of Ages.
The 20 contestants vying to appear on the CBC talent series are:
Colleen Furlan, Winnipeg, MB
Malindi Ayienga, Etobicoke, ON
Michelle Bouey, Charlottetown, PEI
AJ Bridel, Kitchener, ON
Alessandra Cannito, Toronto, ON
Rebecca Codas, Toronto, ON
Sarah Forestieri, Nobleton, ON
Julia Gartha, Unionville, ON
Jennifer Gillis, Coquitlam, B.C.
Cassandra Hodgins, London, ON
Stephanie La Rochelle, Ottawa, ON
Lia Luz, Scarborough, ON
Fiona McIntyre, Port Moody, BC
Jessie Munro, Toronto, ON
Tevra Plamondon, Red Deer, AB
Emily Robertson, Milford Station, NS
Christie Stewart, Vernon, BC
Michelle Thibodeau, Moncton, NB
Kelsey Verzotti, Calgary, AB
Danielle Wade, La Salle, ON