Heritage Woods grad lands dream role at Cap U

Cap U takes on a Canadian classic

Amanda Spinosa missed musical theatre.

At Heritage Woods secondary, she played key roles in Port Moody high school productions under the direction of Shanda Walters.

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In Grade 11, Spinosa was cast as Belle in the musical Beauty and the Beast and, for her final year, she won the part of Muriel Eubanks in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

But after grad, she enrolled in the general studies program at SFU only to realize that acting was her calling.

Spinosa, 22, took a year off to save money and, the following year, earned a spot at Capilano University in its three-year Musical Theatre program.

Now, the former Broadway Bound student is about to end her Cap U studies in April with a dream role.

Last November, the Port Moody resident was cast as Diana Barry in the Exit 22 (the school’s theatre company) two-act show, Anne of Green Gables.

Since then, Spinosa has been pouring over the famous Canadian novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery and watching television performances including the iconic CBC version from 1985 with Megan Follows as the wild PEI orphan with the red hair.

Rehearsals for the Cap U musical started in January, with Alexandra Ewert as Anne Shirley, Sarah Prato as Marilla Cuthbert and Braeden Saucy as Matthew Cuthbert.

Speaking with The Tri-City News last week, Spinosa said Diana Barry isn’t a hard character for her to play.

Though her “bosom buddy” is the complete opposite of Anne, Diana is “very much me. I feel like I’m not really acting with her. I’m not shy but I am quiet and traditional. It’s very much like my personality is shining through her.”

Still, having to portray a young teen who sometimes gets into trouble (remember the raspberry cordial scene?) gives Spinosa pause.

“It’s fun but I have to remember what it’s like to be 11 or 12 years old again, and I have to have her be relatable to younger audiences,” she said.

• Based on the book by Donald Harron with music from Norman Campbell, the musical adaptation of Anne of Green Gables runs March 15 to 24 at Capilano University’s Blueshore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts (2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver). For tickets at $24/$15/$10, visit capilanou.ca.


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