Fourteen-year-old Hannah Zerai’s part was written into the play when she showed up to audition and sang. She has a gorgeous voice and Laura and I knew just how to showcase it. Her part isn’t long, but provides a pivotal recognition for our main character, Will Hawes, about the talent available in the small town he left behind. Hannah’s brief role is important.
Hannah’s first time on stage was in the Avalon’s Curtain Call summer camp in 2010. She enjoyed that so much she did the 2010 SummerFame camp as well, and found she enjoyed dancing and singing. She started voice lessons with Suzanne Chadwick at the Academy Art Museum last year and began ballet this fall.
It didn’t take long for the community to recognize her talent. She sings with the Easton Choral Arts Society and was invited by its director to join the Christ Church Choral Scholars program. Recently Hannah was nominated and auditioned for the 2013 American High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. Out of thousands who auditioned, she was one of 270 finalists chosen for the 2013 choir.
We asked Hannah how she would know if she was successful in her part in The Santa Diaries and she replied, “There’s a cerain feeling you get when you’re walking off stage after performing well. It can’t really be described, but I’m sure everyone’s felt it. If that happens, I’ll know I’ve done it right.”