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By Anne Kallas, Correspondent

Ventura County Star
Friday, December 19, 2008

 

 pacific-festival-ballet-nutcracker-stars-hogan-fulton-13-as-prince-2008

With a starring role in the London West End production of “Billy Elliot” behind him, 13-year-old Hogan Fulton is finding a new kind of dance challenge.

“The big thing is partnering,” said Hogan, describing his role as the prince in Pacific Festival Ballet Company’s “The Nutcracker. “I haven’t done any partnering before,” he said. “Luckily I’m good friends with the girl who’s playing Clara.”

The Pacific Festival Ballet production, Saturday and Sunday at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, is one of three “Nutcracker” ballets taking place this weekend in Ventura County.

Hogan returned home to Newbury Park three months ago after spending six months as part of the rotating cast of “Billy Elliot.” Adapted from the 2000 film, the musical features a book and lyrics by Lee Hall and music by Elton John. After auditioning for the role in New York City, Hogan went to Australia, where the play was first produced, in preparation for taking the title role on Broadway. But when producers realized he would be too big to play an 11-year-old when “Billy Elliot” opened on Broadway in fall 2008, they sent him to London, where the musical was already onstage.

Hogan said he’s been relaxing as he gets back into the swing of classes at Redwood Middle School in Thousand Oaks. In addition to performing in “The Nutcracker,” he appeared Saturday in “7th and Schwartz” at Thousand Oaks High School, a revue featuring songs by Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz. He considers that a light schedule.

“My mom says I can start back (to auditioning for national roles) starting in the New Year,” Hogan said.

Jill Fulton, a part-time accountant, said she would be supportive of her son no matter what he wanted to do, but she and her husband, Buz, are focused on keeping Hogan grounded.

“I support him, but I try to keep him real,” she said. “I don’t look at it any different than if he played soccer or baseball. I don’t want him to be a child star.”

Hogan’s brother Nolan plays sports, and Hogan said his parents are equally as supportive of those efforts.

Fulton said Hogan’s love of dance and theater is foreign to her and her husband, an engineer.

“My husband and I have no theatrical dance background — zero,” she said. “People go, ‘C’mon.’ I say, ‘He came up with this on his own.'”

This will be Hogan’s third year in “The Nutcracker” with Pacific Festival Ballet, the performing troupe of California Dance Theater in Agoura Hills. Previously he played the roles of Fritz and Raggedy Andy. The cast will be supplemented with guest artists from the San Francisco Ballet.

Hogan said singing and acting have been recent developments for him, but he’s enjoying the experience.

And he’s learning to enjoy “partnering” too.

 

© 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co

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  1. […] Phillip Brandon (Ensemble), Michael Brown (Ensemble), Michael Byrne (Ensemble/Peewee Drummond), Hogan Fulton (Ensemble), Stephanie Hayslip (Ensemble), Ken Johnson (Ensemble/Postman), Jenna Keiper (Ensemble), […]

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