Big dreams start on stage for Central Saanich student

Stelly’s actor Olivia Van Bruggen seeking the spotlight.

Stelly’s Secondary performer Olivia (Livi) Van Bruggen.

Tucked away in the music room, Olivia Van Bruggen, who most people call Livi, talked to the PNR of her most recent lead role in the play Anything Goes and her love of music.

Van Bruggen who played Reno Sweeney in the musical which ended a short run on stage Friday, Jan. 15, said it was a really exciting performance for her and it was her first lead role.

“I was super excited to play Reno only being in Grade 11, because most of the lead roles go to Grade 12s, so that was really exciting for me.”

Some of the challenges for her were the high notes she had to sing.

“The character Reno has an incredible voice. She’s also a very powerful human as it is, so she’s very confident with herself so I had to, like, kick that into myself and try and become very confident.”

Stelly’s musical theatre classes put on the show last week and saw packed audiences. Van Bruggen said overall the shows went really well, with everyone pulling together.

For Van Bruggen, her love of theatre, singing and dancing has been around since she was a little girl, growing up with music around her.

“I love performing on stage. I don’t get nervous anymore and it’s really fun for me,” she said.

Her family had an influence on her as well.

Her mother enrolled her in dance, which helped grow her interest in the arts. Her sister’s shared love of singing added to that along the way. She said they would always sing together, performing what she called little dramatic duets together at home.

“My sister started out with musical theatre here (Stelly’s) so I just sort of followed in her footprints.”

Van Bruggen also sang songs from her role in Anything Goes at Thursday night’s An Evening of Performing Arts at Stelly’s.

This is just the beginning for the hopeful acting student. In Grade 11 now, Van Bruggen said she hopes to do more and more and achieve her dream — performing on Broadway.