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Meet American Academy’s Matilda

American Academy student Ella Smith shines as bright and confident off stage as she does on stage.

By Julie Matuszewski; photo courtesy of American Academy

American Academy Performing Arts (AAPA) eighth grade student Ella Smith has landed the title role of Matilda in the Parker Arts and Sasquatch Productions live performances of “Matilda, the Musical.”

Ella enrolled in the AAPA certification program in 2016 but has been performing since second grade in American Academy (AA) productions. She first fluttered onto the stage in her debut as Tinkerbell in AA’s production of “Peter Pan.” Since her debut, Ella has remained actively committed to developing her craft with roles such as Cindy Lou Who in “Seussical,” Flounder in “The Little Mermaid,” Miss Flannery in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and most recently as Sharpay in “High School Musical.”

In addition, Ella works tirelessly in dance classes, choir and theatre classes. She is also an active member of AA Junior Thespian Troupe #88842, participating with annual thespian conferences and adjudications. Troupe #88842 is a group of civic-minded student volunteers, who seek to influence AA school culture in a positive manner while promoting the value and integrity of the performing arts. Members host and participate in a variety of activities, including drama days, field trips, community outreach and weekly lunch club meetings.

Ella has clearly worked hard to earn her place in the spotlight as Matilda. Her talents can be seen at the Parker Arts Culture and Events Center (PACE) January 17 through February 9. When purchasing tickets, be sure to look for performances featuring Ella Smith as Matilda. For additional information, visit



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