High River’s own Alyshia Grace Hobday (23) has busted out into a more professional theatre scene with her role as Penny in Hairspray at Storybook Theatre Society, Calgary.
By Lisa Taylor Photos by Lawrence Eisler, Eisler Design
Ever since Hobday was a little girl she has been actively involved in singing and theatre. After graduating from Highwood High School, she went on to study at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria where she grew and advanced her passion.
When she returned from Victoria, back to her small town routes in High River, she decided she wanted to do a lot of auditioning but was doubtful of getting any opportunities due to the fact that the business is so cut-throat.
“I’m hoping to have some people see me so that I can continue on and take that step into the professional theatre community in Calgary,” Hobday says.
Back in January, when Hobday auditioned, she says she didn’t even think she stood a chance at getting the part. “I was actually super shocked when I got the part because they didn’t even know who I was,” she says. “I was just this nobody girl to them.”
Now Hobday has been having the time of her life playing the main character’s best friend, Penny, a nerdy girl who is all decked out in pigtails and glasses.
The sold-out show has been met with an overwhelming response. So much so that it had to open up for an extra day.
Although Storybook Theatre is a community theatre, Hobday says it’s very close to being professional. “I’m extremely grateful to this role because it’s allowed me be noticed.”
During the May 21 show, Hobday says 20 theatre reviewers were there to take notice. “Reviewers don’t usually come to community theatres, there’s other professional theatre shows to go to in Calgary,” Hobday says. “But because of word of mouth they’re all coming which is really exciting.”
Hairspray runs from May 10 to 26