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Stage presence . . . Kaitlyn Ratcliff is aiming for a future on the stage. PHOTO: BRAD REEVE PHOTOGRAPHY

Five Questions With . . . Mountainview High School pupil KaitlynRatcliff (17).

What involvement have you had with the performance and arts scene in South Canterbury?

My involvement stems from being a member of the former Timaru Glee Club.
Glee really opened my eyes to what opportunities there are in Timaru for keen performers.
From then I went on to perform in Camp Rock and The Little Mermaid Jr for the South Canterbury Drama League.
As well as these shows, I have also performed with Glee on many occasions and at Mountainview High School in eight shows.

What are you looking forward to about studying at the University of Otago next year?

After auditioning for performing arts at the University of Otago and being successful, I am looking forward to studying for a bachelor of performing arts with a minor in film/media studies next year. Gaining new knowledge of the arts and developing my craft will definitely be a highlight, and there had been talk at my audition of working with a woman who has worked on Broadway for [the musical] Waitress, so that will also be something I will look forward to.

What do you think are some of the most beneficial opportunities you have had over the years to reach your dreams?

I received a $6000 Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship to [University of] Otago, which I applied for due to my experiences in leadership, especially as deputy head girl of Mountainview High School this year.
For me, this will be put towards payments for my hall of residence next year.
Definitely meeting and connecting with performers who share the same passions as myself has been the most beneficial. It’s so important to connect in this business so that you can make contacts for yourself.

What do you plan to do once you have finished your studies?

Once I’ve finished my studies I plan to travel to New York and hopefully work my way up in theatre.
I’m a keen songwriter, so I’ve always been intrigued to see how far I could make it with songwriting and performing, with the ultimate goal being to work on Broadway.

What is the one Broadway show you can watch over and over?

One is pretty hard to choose, but if I was to watch one Broadway show over and over it would have to be Hamilton. The art of Hamilton and incorporating rap into musical theatre is something that I admire and think is a great step for the genre.