Zoe Rapos is chasing her theatrical dreams overseas for the second straight summer.
Currently performing as Princess Fiona in Delta Youth Theater’s Shrek the Musical Jr. until Sunday (May 14) at the Equinox Theatre, the Grade 12 student at Delta Secondary is headed to London, England for a three-week Musical Theatre Intensive at the renowned Mountview Conservatoire.
A year ago, she attended a week-long bootcamp at Roehampton University with the British Youth Music Theatre Company.
“It was amazing. I’ve always felt a certain connection to London, just going there and experiencing that and all the different people that went. It was incredible,” said Rapos. “I definitely I wanted to go back and I am very excited to be doing that this year for even longer.”
By staying in residence and travelling on her own, the return trip will also give her a better idea if she wants to pursue her degree in the United Kingdom, meaning a potential three-year commitment that would enhance her opportunity of one day realizing her ultimate goal of performing on stage in London’s famous West End.
“It’s a lot different than applying (to a university) with a many more steps. It’s a lot harder because there are a lot of people that want to do this, but I also know it’s my passion and it’s what I need to do,” said Rapos.
That passion has been persistent from a young age, but performing on stage didn’t always come easy to her.
Rapos took vocal lessons at the age of nine at the Delta Community School with Tracy Neff and hid under a table for her first open mic-style recital when it was her turn on stage. She eventually preserved, but was still too nervous to join DYT until she was 11 and was cast as one of the lead orphans in Annie Jr.
More DYT productions followed, and Rapos made her DSS Musical debut in Grade 9 as the title character in Oliver.
She continued to take on larger roles and even showcased her singing talent by winning Delta Idol’s junior category in February 2020. Soon after, the pandemic put Rapos’ bustling schedule to a halt for an extended period.
“It was really hard because I had felt like I could do anything at that point. When we finally came back it was so busy all the time and I just wasn’t used to it again,” she continued. “It was very overwhelming, but I’m sure getting back into it now.”
Her busy schedule included being cast as the comedic Rusty in her final DSS Musical, Footloose, that recently wrapped up at Genesis Theatre.
Rapos hopes other shy children take the leap if they are interested in music or theatre.
“It can give you an outlet for parts of your personality that may be hidden, There are so many options in performing arts to strengthen your abilities,” she said.