Snapshot: Kevin Dolan
Shining on Stage
Young thespian eyes possible Broadway run as Liberace
By Samantha Hulings
At just 5 years old, an energetic Kevin Dolan attended his first theater class at Singing Onstage Studios in State College. From that moment on, only lacrosse practice could tear him away from the stage.
As a result of his involvement with theater classes, he was cast in Praise the Egg! and Oliver, both produced by Singing Onstage. He went on to play Michael Darling in Penn State Centre Stage’s production of Peter Pan. More recently, he was cast as Bert in Penn State Centre Stage’s production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons.
This past summer, he attended StageDoor Manor, a performing-arts training center in Loch Sheldrake, New York. There he won the Outstanding Achievement in a Musical award, an enormous feat for a first-year camper.
“Being a first-year at StageDoor Manor, when you’re 11 and other people are 18, it made me really proud of myself. Every single person at the camp knew me, so when I got up on stage, everyone was clapping and roaring and yelling my name. It was such an honor to hold the trophy in my hands in front of so many people,” he says.
Now, Dolan, 12, is still living out his theater dreams after being cast in All That Glitters, a new musical about the life of Liberace that is currently being street-tested for Broadway and, according to Broadway.com, is being considered for a Broadway opening in April. Dolan was given the opportunity to audition for the role of a young Liberace and was officially offered the role on March 16.
“My voice teacher, Carolyn Marcell, she actually knew the music director for the show. The music director told her that if she had any boys that would like to audition to please let them know. They told me about it because they said they needed a soprano and young boy — that was me,” Dolan says.
After being cast as the only child in the production, Dolan, with his mother, Teresa, relocated to New York City for several weeks for the show’s rehearsal period. He says that leading up to his departure from State College, he felt fine but, once the time came to leave, he was in tears because he wanted to stay with his family and friends.
As a sixth grader at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School, he had to keep up with his studies during his time in New York. He received a tutor through On Location Education, an educational consulting service for child performers. His tutor incorporated as much of the city as possible, working in field trips to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Times Square.
But even after watching countless shows and visiting New York landmarks, Dolan still enjoyed being part of the All That Glitters cast the most. “I just love being on the stage,” he says, “Doing anything in theater makes me happy.”
Family: Father, John; mother, Teresa; brother, Declan; dog, Louise the Havanese.
Advice for other children who want to be involved in theater: “If you were to get involved with theater, right off the bat, I will tell you it’s not easy. If you do end up going on the stage, seriously, just be yourself. Don’t be somebody that somebody else tells you to be. Just be yourself.”
Other hobbies: Lacrosse, football, basketball, fencing, violin, and electric guitar.