By Mike Butler
Happy New Year Everyone! Welcome to the first Who’s Who profile of the year. I have wanted to write about Elsa Hodder since first encountering her during The Little Princess. Elsa had the lead role (I had one scene) and her talent blew me away. She could sing, act, and dance beautifully and she was only a young teenager at the time. Her maturity and elegance would have you believe she is in her 20s. I mean seriously, describe her and try not to use the word statuesque… it’s impossible. She’s done more in the last five years than some people do in a lifetime and did I mention that she’s extremely talented?
Elsa Hodder spent most of her life in Wolfville, a few years in Windsor and she’s currently living in downtown Halifax where she’s furthering her studies in Musical Theatre. Performing has always been a constant in Elsa’s life. “When I was in grade two” Elsa explains, “it was clear to my parents that I had an unwavering passion to perform and they took me out of school and created/built a studio and fashioned a program for me to intensely study singing, acting and dancing. Because there wasn’t a performing arts program for me to attend in Nova Scotia, my parents created one until I graduated last year.”
Elsa has trained in dance with many teachers at various schools including Andrea Leblanc, Maritime Conservatory; Edgett Dance; Erin Hopewell; The National Ballet School of Canada; Boston Ballet School; and Ballet West Academy. Elsa has also been training in the required singing style for Musical Theatre (SLS) and her voice is very powerful for her age. She was able to finish high school two years early, through Kings View Academy, which has allowed her to have more time to do shows and auditions this year.
What a resume this young lady has including prime roles in Quick as a Wink’s past productions of 42nd Street, Oklahoma, The Secret Garden, and The Little Princess, and the role of Louise in Carousel for the Utah Repertory Theatre Company! You can now see Elsa (singing, dancing and acting) in the lead role in Cinderella: The Musical, being performed at Kings-Edgehill Theatre (Jan 16, 17, 18m, 23, 24) with the Quick as a Wink Theatre Company. Showtimes are 7pm, with special 2pm Matinees on Jan 17, 18, and 24. Tickets are available at Moe’s Place Music Sales on Gerrish Street in Windsor or by calling 902-798-5565.
So from the Little Princess to the Ultimate Princess, Elsa has been fortunate to play many stunning roles and she owes a lot to her Quick as a Wink family. She says, “I have been so lucky to have Quick As A Wink Theatre Society to work with and they have treated me with integrity and professionalism – giving me lead roles and leadership opportunities beyond my age and believing in me to not disappoint them. Being in Nova Scotia has been a huge blessing to me.”
So what does she like better – the singing, dancing or acting? Elsa confessed, “I am a performer. I perform to inspire and uplift my audiences. My goal is to have them leave the shows filled with happiness, joy and light. Serving others is really important to me and my family and performing for the joy of others is one way that I have been able to serve and share my talents.”
This is the first Who’s Who of the New Year, so it should have some resolutions/goals, right? Well as I expected, Elsa plans to further her musical studies right up to Broadway! She states, “This upcoming year I will be attending either Brigham Young University and training in their Musical Theatre program which is one of the top in the United States, or at Randolph Academy in Toronto which is one of the top musical theatre schools in Canada. After I attend school I will go on to obtain my masters in Musical Theatre and venture out to NYC to audition and hopefully perform on Broadway for a few years. And after that, I’d love to teach Musical Theatre!” Best of luck to you Elsa!
As an actor, I have many dream roles that I aspire to perform one day… and I was dying to know what Elsa’s dream role for the stage would be. It’s Ariel, the princess of the sea from the Little Mermaid. And Elsa is now a redhead… she’s already getting into character. But wait… wasn’t Elsa blonde when I met her? During our interview I had a wonderful chuckle as Elsa described why she’s now a redhead instead of the blonde I first met. It turns out she dyes her hair red because she didn’t want to be “the blonde girl named Elsa”, like the Princess in the Disney movie Frozen. You’d think that after playing so many Princesses, she’d be okay with it!
All my best Little Princess!