Delta streets will be filled with the sounds of children’s revolting righteous rebellion when Delta Youth Theatre presents Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical Jr. from Dec. 3 to 12 at the Equinox Theatre (SDSS) in Tsawwassen.
Based on the beloved book Matilda and adapted from the 2013 award-winning full-length musical, Matilda The Musical Jr. tells the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination, a sharp mind and psychokinetic powers dares to take a stand, and in so doing, changes the course of her life story.
The show is directed and choreographed by DYT’s Tony Barton and Tracy Neff, whose company offers pre-professional training for young performers through DYT’s year-long season and many acclaimed shows.
“Early on in the show Matilda sings, ‘Even if you’re little you can do a lot,’ says Neff about one of the shows’ musical numbers. “It’s a powerful reminder for each of us, with all of our unique quirks and personal obstacles, to take ownership for our circumstance and to do everything we can to improve ourselves, and our lives.”
Picking up on the theme of taking personal responsibility for your life, Barton comments, “Working with these young people constantly reminds Tracy and I that ‘little’ people can do a lot. We set the bar high for them and expect excellence no matter how old they are or what talents they bring to the table.”
Barton and Neff both add that they are always inspired by the commitment these young people have to delivering consistently high quality work.
Barton and Neff wanted to expose DYT’s student performers to other instructors and directors for Matilda The Musical Jr., and so brought in guest instructors Susan Bertoia and Darren Burkett.
Bertoia is a celebrated Vancouver creator, actor and educator. A faculty member of the UBC theatre department, Bertoia specializes in devised theatre, physical theatre and commedia dell'arte.
“Watching Susan work is thrilling. She shows you what creativity looks like in action. It’s exciting, uncomfortable, beautiful, messy and everything in between,” said Neff. “Having Darren join the production team has been a huge benefit as he toured with the Broadway National tour of Matilda.
“He is also a gifted teacher and choreographer.”
Neff and Barton met Darren in 2009 at the Chemainus Theatre Festival when they all performed in Oklahoma.
“He not only brings the musical numbers, Bruce, and Revolting Children, to life for our show, he’s also brought a depth of understanding about the original creation of show,” added Barton.
Delta Youth Theatre’s production of Matilda has been in the works for two years, says Barton who will also make an appearance as the dreaded character Agatha Trunchbull in casts one and four.
DYT was scheduled to do the show in the fall of 2020 but due to the impacts of COVID-19, decided to postpone.
“We truly wanted the audience to be able to come and see this show in-person,” adds Barton.
DYT presents Matilda The Musical Jr. with four student casts.
Tickets are available online at: for between $28 and $35. Call 604-417-7748 for more details.