Getting near: Residents of Far Far Away are preparing for Ballarat Centre of Music and the Arts productions of Aladdin Jr and Shrek Jr. Photo: SUPPLIED

AFTER a turbulent, stop-start eighteen months, the Ballarat Centre of Music and the Arts is finally getting ready to unleash its junior performers on the stage for two shows of Disney’s Aladdin Jr and Shrek Jr. BCMA director Paula Heenan said the cast of 150 students can’t wait to tread the boards. “For many of them it's the light at the end of the tunnel, when everything else is going wrong,” she said. “The kids have got a great deal of energy, but they've also trained really hard to do some amazing singing, and great choreography.” “As actors, they've been incredible. And they've got a great acting coach, Rachael Shelton, who’s a very positive and inspirational leader for them. So they've really enjoyed putting it together.” Ms Heenan said the two Disney musicals were selected for being “great shows for kids with positive meanings.” “They have great upbeat songs and Shrek has 35 actual roles in it. “So it meant that most of the kids in the classes would have roles with things to both sing and say. It gives everyone a chance to be in individual costumes as well,” Ms Heenan said. “Aladdin certainly has some cast members who are ready to take on the big roles too. We've got some really strong young people in there. The eight to 10 age group are ready to take on the world. They're so good.” Catch BCMA’s Aladdin Jr and Shrek Jr on Saturday 31 July and Sunday 1 August at Mount Clear College, Olympic Avenue, Mount Clear. Tickets are available via
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