The Tony nominated musical “WAITRESS”, which opens at the Times-Union Center on March 12, 2019, has cast two young area actresses to take on the role of “Lulu” during the Jacksonville 7 show engagement. The JAX performances will showcase 2 young local artists.
Whitney Shillingford, 4, of Jacksonville, and Bailey Dorman, 5, of Orange Park will alternate the role of “Lulu,” the daughter of the production’s main character, Jenna. WAITRESS tells the story of “Jenna,” an expert pie baker working at a local diner and stuck in a loveless marriage. Her salvation comes in the form of her daughter, “Lulu.”
Both girls were chosen via an audition process held at the Times-Union Center on January 31, 2019. More than 40 girls participated in the auditions, which were presided over by members of the WAITRESS company. The character of “Lulu” is cast locally in each tour market and two girls are chosen to share the role. Each five-year-old girl chosen will perform in four performances each during the engagement.
For Bailey, a student at Andromeda Preschool, this is her first audition and acting experience. "It was fun. I liked playing with Whitney," she said happily. “This has been a completely new experience for our family,” remarked Chris Dorman, Bailey’s father. “We're so excited for Bailey. She will always be able to look back on this whole process and feel proud." While Whitney has never acted before, she participates in a children’s drama program called “Shining Star,” plays soccer and tennis, and takes ballet and gymnastics. She is a student at Southside United Methodist preschool and loves going to the park and the beach.
“Being able to audition for Lulu was such an amazing opportunity for Whitney,” her mom Cindy told us. “We really saw her confidence and independence shine in the process. We are so proud that she had the courage and interest in being part of a Broadway show, and we are so honored she was chosen! We can’t wait to see her share the stage with such talented stars - we know this is an experience that she will cherish forever.”
Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, WAITRESS is an irresistible new hit featuring original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (“I Am Sam”) and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Finding Neverland, Pippin, Hair).
Inspired by Adrienne Shelley’s beloved film, the musical tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
“It’s an empowering musical of the highest order!” raves the Chicago Tribune. “WAITRESS is a little slice of heaven!” says Entertainment Weekly and “a monumental contribution to Broadway!” according to Marie Claire. Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.
Tues. Mar. 12, 2019 7:30 p.m.
Wed. Mar. 13 7:30 p.m.
Thurs. Mar. 14 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Mar 15 8 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 16 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sun. Mar. 17 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Times Union Center Performing Arts
300 West Water St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
TICKETS: (Vary) and start at $42. They may be purchased at the box office from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (904) 632-5000, or online 24/7. Discounts for groups of 10+ may be available by calling (904) 632-5050. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.