Bendigo student scores star role

A GIRTON Grammar School student has landed a lead role in a Melbourne production of The Wizard of Oz.

Sixteen-year-old Joseph Baldwin will play the Scarecrow in Stage School Australia's performance of the musical classic - which hits the Union Theatre in July.

Baldwin, a passionate performer, said never in his wildest dreams had he expected to be offered the part of a main character.

"It is my first Melbourne production. I am very excited," he said. 

"I was only auditioning to get in, so when I found out I would be playing the scarecrow I was shocked.

"I could not believe it." 

Baldwin started performing at the age of 12. 

He took tap lessons before moving into performing arts and theatre. 

He scored his first lead role in Girton Grammar School's production of Thirteen when he was in year 8 and fell in love with the arts. 

"(Performing) is nothing like anything else," he said. 

"You get to become a whole new person that you wouldn't usually become and show your views on (how you portray the character.

"And it's fun."

For the past six months, Baldwin has travelled to Melbourne on the train every Saturday to attend Stage School Australia.

He said it was a tough commitment but worthwhile.

"It is something I could perhaps do after school," he said. 

"It is the hobby I am most interested in and I enjoy performing, so at the moment that is my dream."

To add to his busy schedule, Baldwin is in his school's production of Into The Woods which is on this week.

"The performances are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and then I start rehearsal for The Wizard of Oz next week," he said.

"It is pretty crazy and can be quite challenging but it's something I love doing."

Baldwin said his family and many of friends would attend a performance. 

Performances are at the Union Theatre at the University of Melbourne between July 10 and 12.

Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased by calling 9384 1644 or by visiting stageschool.com.au

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