Chaplin is based on the real-life story of Charlie Chaplin, the iconic film actor, writer, producer and director. The new musical spans the comic’s entire career, from Chaplin’s first performance as a child in 19th-century London to his tearful acceptance of an honorary Academy Award in 1972. The show documents the beloved actor’s rise to fame and the people who shaped his life, including his mother Hannah, his older brother Sydney, his fourth wife Oona O’Neill and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. The musical dramatizes the making of Chaplin’s legendary films, including The Kid, The Circus, Modern Times and The Great Dictator as well as his turbulent childhood, frenzied love life and political beliefs. Featuring an original score by Christopher Curtis, including “Look at All the People,” “Just Another Day in Hollywood” and “This Man,” Chaplin tells the touching story of the man who makes the world laugh as his legendary screen persona, the Tramp, but struggles to find happiness in his own life.

This magnificent production will be staged at The Mill at East McKinney, a turn of the century flour mill which has been converted into an event venue. This location will serve as a unique and authentic backdrop for this larger than life musical experience. 

A Ovation Academy of Performing Arts is a pre-professional training program for students in grades 6-12 who are college and career bound in the Performing Arts. A majority of the students currently work professionally in film, television, theatre, dance or voiceover and attend the Conservatory program as an alternative to traditional schooling. The Conservatory allows them the flexibility to work in the industry while earning their educational credits and diploma in addition to high level training in the arts. 

This production will be the school’s entry into the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards. The four  principal roles are played by Senior Musical Theatre majors at the Conservatory. Brandon Carty will captivate audiences with his  portrayal of the iconic Charlie Chaplin. Kailah Wright will make you laugh and cry as his vulnerable and loving mother, Hannah  Chaplin. Myah Durham is dynamic and fierce as the over-zealous reporter Hedda Hopper and Emma Kelly is elegant and inspiring  as Charlie’s wife Oona O’Neill. Tiny powerhouse performer Chloee Rae, a sixth grade Musical Theatre Major, shines as Young  Chaplin. Sophomore Acting Major, Adrianna Kellaway, will have the audience rolling with laughter as Mack Sennett. Averly Belle  Burns, Sophomore Musical Theatre major, is vibrant in her portrayal of Charlie’s first wife Mildred and Corbin Ross, Freshman  Musical Theatre major, is enduring and honest as Chaplain’s older brother Sydney.

Chaplin is led by an incredible team of experienced directors and designers that rivals many local theatre companies. Director  Angi Burns comes from a background in youth theatre and education with over 20 years experience bringing theatre to life  onstage utilizing the talents of young performers. Award-winning Set Designer and T​echnical Director, Wendy Searcy’s work​ has been showcased in multiple shows at the Granbury Opera House, Plaza Theatre Company, Theatre Frisco and Firehouse Theatre. Will Varner, Musical Director, is the Assistant Musical Director of The Women’s Chorus of Dallas. Rare Orion, Assistant Director, recently won a Column Award for his portrayal of ​Huey Calhoun in ​Memphis ​ with Greater Lewisville and is the lead singer for the band Rare Savant. ​Ania Lyons, Choreographer, has been seen onstage across DFW at numerous regional theatre including; Lyric Stage, Dallas Children's Theater, Theater Three​, ​ Uptown Players and The Firehouse Theater, Rounding out the staff for this production is Ashley H. White, ​award-winning director, fight & intimacy director, and teaching artist. Her work has been seen at the Tony Award-winning Dallas Theater Center, Stage West, Theater Three, Uptown Players. Ashley serves as the Artistic Director for IMPRINT Theatreworks in Dallas.​ ​Ovation Academy additional brought in Hollywood Dialect Coach, Adam Michael Rose, who has worked with actors that have appeared in ​Orange Is the New Black, ​The Americans, ​The Blacklist, Grey's Anatomy, La La Land, and HBO's ​Big Little Lies and ​American Crime.

Performances will be one week only, January 16-19, 2020. Tickets will be available on the Ovation Academy website beginning December 1st. There will be a VIP Gala prior to the performance on Friday, January 17th. Contact info@ovationapa.org​ for more information. Sponsorships for both the production and GALA are still available! Ovation Academy is  a 501(c)3 Non-profit Educational Organization.