Corunna teen starstruck at VPP

Noah Leonard

Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

At 16, Noah Leonard is already used to being in the spotlight.

Now the 16 year-old St. Patrick’s High School student is in the limelight closer to home as part of Victoria Playhouse Petrolia’s version of On Golden Pond.

Leonard plays Billy Ray Jr., the outspoken grandson of the main characters. It was one of the roles where the VPP looked for a local actor. Leonard only learned about the opportunity at the last minute and submitted his resume. He has been working almost every day since June 14 getting ready for opening day.

The Corunna teen has had several roles at the Imperial Theatre in Sarnia and in high school productions, but this has been his biggest role so far.

He played Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Bruce in Matilda and has also had bit roles in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Leonard always had a passion for singing growing up. He started by singing the national anthem at local hockey games at the age of nine.

In recent years, he has played gigs at Haywood’s Tap and Grill, Black Gold Brewery, Ups N’ Downs, and Two Water Brewing Company where he performs mostly covers but there are a few of his originals tucked away in his sets.
It is from this love of singing he took to the stage with musical theatre his first step into acting.

He won a gold medal in the Music Theatre category at the Ontario Music Festivals Association’s provincial competition in 2019.

Leonard will be heading into Grade 12 next September. He wants to go to in Sheridan College’s musical theatre program, which he hopes will be a jumping off point to starring in theatre, film or television in the future.

Right now, however, he’s enjoying the experience of being on stage with seasoned veterans like Karen Grassle of Little House on the Prairie fame.

“Everyone has been amazing,” Leonard said. “I am just star struck working with all of this talent.”

On Golden Pond will be playing at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia from July 5 to July 24.

The Local Journalism Initiative supports the creation of original civic journalism that covers the diverse needs of underserved communities across Canada.