WHAT'S ON

Young musical theatre stars from St George and Sutherland Shire take the stage in School of Rock

All-rounder: Asha Rostron, of Gymea, says starring in School of Rock has been great experience. Picture: Supplied

All-rounder: Asha Rostron, of Gymea, says starring in School of Rock has been great experience. Picture: Supplied

While other children were relaxing during the recent summer holidays, some of St George and Sutherland Shire's younger residents were taking to the stage up to four times a week thanks to starring roles in the award-winning musical School of Rock.

Seven of the 30 young performers chosen for roles in the feel-good family musical are from St George and Sutherland Shire after beating thousands of hopefuls last year to win a coveted role in the hit show now playing in Sydney.

Based on the movie of the same name, School of Rock is about a wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns the previously pretentious students into a rock band.

The show features 14 original songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who said he was blown away by the quality of the Australian cast, who sing, play and dance their way through the show.

Each cast member shares a starring role with two others, with the cast rotating throughout the week.

Asha Rostron, of Gymea, has been having the time of her life sharing the role of Sophie in the musical, which started its Australian run at Sydney's Capitol Theatre in November.

Proud mum Alecia Picken, who is the director of AP Performers at Taren Point, said winning a role in School of Rock was a dream come true for Asha.

Asha, 12, who is in year 8 at Endeavour High School, Caringbah, has starred in several other productions, including last year's Jack and the Beanstalk.

Dream role: Asha Rostron on stage as Sophie in School of Rock. Picture: Supplied

Dream role: Asha Rostron on stage as Sophie in School of Rock. Picture: Supplied

"Asha has been dancing since she could walk. She has won many Australian and overseas dance titles, her biggest being crowned Miss World Dance," Ms Picken said.

"Asha has also been lucky enough to have been cast in Bonnie Lythgoe's musicals for the past three years, dancing on stage alongside Todd McKenny and Rhonda Burchmore."

Asha said being in School Of Rock was the "best experience of my life".

"I have grown so much as an all-round performer [and] I have been surrounded by amazing talent and have met lifelong friends," Asha said.

"This opportunity has made me very excited about where my future may take me."

Other shire residents starring in the show are Bille-Rose Brotherson, 12, of Miranda, and Joel Bishop, 10, of Cronulla, who appeared in the Leader last year.

Ezekial Sciacca, 12, of Barden Ridge, also appears in the Sydney show, having already performed as part of the Brisbane and Auckland productions.

Zoe Zantey, 11, of Sans Souci, is among three St George performers starring in the musical, alongside Sara Petrovski, 12, of Peakhurst, and Avaleigh Rock, 12, of Hurstville Grove.

Zoe started ballet lessons when she was three, before adding other forms of dance, musical theatre, singing and acting to her credentials.

Born performer: Zoe Zantey, of Sans Souci, has been dancing since she was three. Picture: Supplied

Born performer: Zoe Zantey, of Sans Souci, has been dancing since she was three. Picture: Supplied

She previously appeared in the Sydney production of Evita starring Tina Arena but said this was her biggest role to date.

"It's so cool to have this opportunity. It's so great," Zoe said.

She said she really enjoyed the experience of performing in front of a live audience.

"Everyone gets up on their feet and dances and sometimes we get standing ovations for 10 minutes. Kids ask for photos with us after the show or to sign their programs. It's a great feeling," Zoe said.

The year 6 student said she hoped to pursue a career in acting and musical theatre, but in the meantime attends school on days she isn't performing and like the rest of the young cast, works with the tutor provided to catch up on school work backstage.

Ready to rock: Zoe Zantey, who shares the role of Sophie, on stage in School of Rock. Picture: Supplied

Ready to rock: Zoe Zantey, who shares the role of Sophie, on stage in School of Rock. Picture: Supplied

Avaleigh Rock is a talented performer who started ballet lessons when she was 18 months old and has competed in dance eisteddfods since she was four.

Avaleigh, who attends All Starz Performing Arts Studio at Peakhurst, has previously had roles in Evita at Sydney Opera House and Ready Set Dance on Nick Jnr Australia.

School of Rock's final Sydney show is March 1. Bookings click here