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A Star is Born

By: Kelly Twedell

Let me introduce you to a local Terry Sanford High School freshman who is quite the drama queen. In a good way, of course. With a love of theater since childhood, Rosebud “Rosie” Harrison is living out her dreams in front of audiences and heads to an off-Broadway stage this summer.

While most kids might enjoy theater or the occasional drama class, Rosie eats, sleeps and breathes all things having to with musicals. Even her Facebook profile is peppered with quotes from Broadway musicals.

Following her audition this past spring in New York City at the famous Ripley-Grier Studios, Rosie was selected as one of 20 from 1,200 kids of all ages and cast in a role in the Broadway Workshop Children’s Musical Theater. For her audition piece she sang ‘Notice Me Horton’ from the Dr. Seuss musical, "Seussical". Students cast in the festival will have the opportunity to originate roles in the new musicals by up-and-coming theater writers. It will be a showcase in which casting directors will be looking for young promising talent.

“It’s going to be a challenge. We are learning a full show in ten days,” she said of her upcoming performances in New York City. Prior to her auditions she finds that she can’t enjoy eating – something to do with nerves, perhaps? Though she doesn’t have a lucky charm, everyone knows that it’s customary before each show for Rosie to seek out a quiet spot and just belt out her songs by herself to calm her nerves.

While most girls her age are listening to One Direction, Rosie’s iPod has an extensive list of Broadway show tunes. She knows all of them. Rosie says she wakes up each day singing the theme song from "Beauty and the Beast". The tune is more than familiar because she starred as Belle last summer at Cape Fear Regional Theater’s summer camp, and she even looks the part.

In February, Rosie had an experience that only others dream of- walking the red carpet for the "Safe Haven" movie premiere in Hollywood. Rosie can be seen as an extra in four scenes in the flick. It was filmed not too far from us in Wilmington. She rubbed elbows with Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough and Ryan Seacrest. “Josh and Julianne were so down to earth,” shared Rosie.

Always by her side for auditions and filming, Rosie’s parents are her biggest supporters. Her mother, Julie, also wears the hat of her agent and seeks out auditions that are suitable for her daughter. Currently she is hoping to land some screen time in "Tammy" starring Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon. "Tammy" begins filming in Wilmington this May.

Rosie might be a shooting star, but she’ll never forget where she launched. Acting since the age of five, her first role was in CFRT’s "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever". “I’ve done that show every year since. Nobody can get tired of that show, it’s different every year,” expressed Rosie.

Cast in Gilbert Theater’s "Glee", Rosie has grown even more and aspires to try out for a part in their fall production of 'Rent', even though she knows it's a musical with mature subject matter. “My favorite part of participating in the local theater scene are the relationships that have formed as a result,” said Rosie. “Bo, at CFRT is like another grandma to me, and I’ve grown up there.”  From "Encore" and "Gamma Rays" to "Footloose", Rosie has performed in diverse roles and has grown in her experiences.

Rosie’s hopes and dreams include performing on Broadway and going to school at either New York University or Carnegie Mellon. Her dream roles, listed in her smart phone, range from the lighthearted 'Sandy' in "Grease" to the emotional 'Fantine' in "Les Miserables". But for now, her sights are on lighting up a New York stage this summer.