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Pursuing her passion in the Big Apple

Stephenville youth to study at NYC summer musical theatre program


Maya Harris loves the feeling she gets every time she steps on stage.

“It’s very exhilarating,” the young Stephenville performer tells West Coast Wire. “When I’m in the studio and we’re doing rehearsal, it’s of course still fun and I try my hardest, but when I get on stage, it’s just increased by 100. I just feel alive.”

The 16-year-old knows musical theatre is what she wants to do the rest of her life.

And now her dedication to her craft has earned her a thrilling opportunity to learn from some of the very best. Harris has been accepted to the Broadway Artists Alliance.

Per its website, it “provides professional training for promising young musical theatre performers, right in the heart of New York City.”

“This program means a lot for me because it feels like an extra step in my career that I hope to pursue in musical theatre,” she says.

When she got her acceptance letter, she screamed with excitement, never anticipating she could get into an intensive program on her first try.

It offers classes taught by Tony Award winners, Broadway performers and New York’s top casting directors, agents, coaches and choreographers.

“People like Lin Manuel Miranda have taught there, Sutton Foster has worked there, just like a lot of big names, they teach the classes, and I never would have imagined I would go somewhere like this,” she says.

Harris will be studying voice as her major during the five-day program. She will also have a variety of electives to choose from, through which she hopes to work on tap and acting as well.

Her focus is on learning as much as she can.

“… it’s more improving my craft, learning from very experienced people. I just like working on what I’m passionate about and improving as much as I can.”

Through her voice lessons, she hopes to work on belting particularly.

“I’ve been working on classical music for a long time and I, of course, love it but I kind of want to start branching out so I can be more vocally well-rounded,” she explains. “So, I’d love to be able to work on healthy belting techniques for more pop style musical theatre.”

Harris will be staying in New York City for eight days. She will attend a Broadway show, something she has always dreamed of doing. She also looks forward to doing some sightseeing.


Harris hails from a musical family. Her father Paul is a music teacher while her brother Ben plays piano and her mother Laura sings and plays piano

“When I was growing up, I would always have music happening in my house,” she says. “I would watch my dad perform or my brother would always be practicing the piano and we were just very involved in music.”

As a young girl, she would sometimes sing at primary school concerts. She also played piano at the Rotary Music Festival when she was little. At age five or six, however, she discovered her passion for musical theatre.

She recalls going to a local production of The Sound of Music and realizing it was something that interested her. Harris started doing voice lessons at seven and has been doing musical theatre since she was 10. She has been participating in Nomad Stages productions since 2019 and has become a triple threat, studying dance, acting and voice.

She is a classically trained singer and, in dance, studies jazz, ballet, modern and tap.


Harris has been looking for bigger opportunities. She and her mother recently became aware of the Broadway Artists Alliance. One reason it appealed to her is that it’s noncompetitive. To her, theatre is about family.

“Even though it’s a competitive program to get into it, once you get into it, it’s a community, there’s no competition,” she explains. “Everyone’s family there.”

Harris sent in multiple audition videos for voice, acting and dance.

She had to perform 16 to 32 bars of two musical theatre songs in contrasting styles, choosing No One Else, a ballad from a pop opera musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 and Gee, I’m Glad I’m No One Else But Me, an uptempo song from the Anne of Green Gables musical.

For her acting audition, she performed a dramatic monologue from Jo in Little Women and a comedic monologue as Grandmama from The Addams Family, which she recently performed with Nomad Stages.

For her dance audition, Harris sent a tap solo that she has been working on for an upcoming competition and a jazz combination she has worked on with one of her teachers.

She found out more than two weeks after her audition that she was accepted.

Harris is grateful for the support of many teachers in Stephenville and Corner Brook over the years, crediting Nomad Stages owner LouAnn Davis, Andrew Perry, Anastasiia Rudenko, Alba Chen, Wendy Woodland, Esther Oosterban and the late Jennifer Matthews.

When she returns from New York City this summer, Harris will continue her lessons. She hopes to eventually get into a musical theatre program and says she would love to study at St. Lawrence College.

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