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Canyon Middle School Student to Perform in Christmas Musical

Madilyn Morrow, 11, is the youngest performing cast member of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" which will debut at Castro Valley Center of the Arts this Saturday, Dec. 17.

By Terry Liebowitz

“It’s the perfect role for me. I’m called ‘Broadway Sue,’” giggled Madilyn Morrow, the youngest member of the Irving Berlin’s White Christmas cast.

This holiday favorite opens Dec. 17 and runs through Dec. 22 at the after a sold-out run at the Dean Lesher Theatre in Walnut Creek earlier this month.

At 11, Madilyn has more experience on stage than many 30-year-olds. She was 3 when she landed her first role as a wolf and a monkey in Jungle Book and she hasn’t stopped since.

“I knew right way that I wanted to keep performing. It’s so fun. When other kids complain about the boredom of tech week, I can always find something to occupy my mind," Madilyn shared.

In the last 18 months, Madilyn’s auditions have expanded to Broadway. Madilyn attended an open call in New York for the Broadway run of Billy Elliot with over 400 hopefuls. As the pool narrowed, she was invited back to New York three different times, right down to the final cut. Last month, casting agency Telsey + Company summoned her for another callback — this time for a role in the Broadway reprisal of Annie

With the wonder still evident in her voice, Madilyn remembers how she felt the first time she and her mom walked in Times Square.

“This is so amazing. Am I really here auditioning for a Broadway show?” she said.

As wide-eyed tourists, they saw several Broadway shows and visited the Hard Rock Café. Recently, they made the trip in less than 24 hours. They took the red-eye flight, stopped at Starbuck’s in Times Square, attended the callback, got home by midnight, and Madilyn was back at school the next morning.   

principal Mark Croghan calls this 4.0 sixth grader, “An amazing student.”

Madilyn is quick to add, “I love school and I don’t like to miss a day. I like to learn new things.”

Madilyn has studied dance since she was 3-years-old at and voice at the Matthew Liebowitz Studio since she was 6.

Needless to say, Madilyn could not make all this happen without the support of her parents, Dina and Chad Morrow of San Lorenzo.

Dina, an graduate of 1993, and Chad, a graduate of 1990, are working hard to support her dreams of performing on Broadway.

Dina laughed, “At times we feel like we are living the story line of Billy Elliot — finding ‘a penny here and a penny there.’”

Besides paying for lessons, gas, tickets to performances and trips to New York City, Dina and Chad are intent on instilling the concept of gratitude in Madilyn and her brother Zell.

“We remind the children, ‘You are blessed to be born with talent and lucky to have opportunities along the way. It takes a village....” recounted Dina.

It is apparent that Madilyn has big plans for herself!   

Tickets are available to see Madilyn in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. To check which dates and times are available, click here.

You can also purchase tickets by calling 510-889-8961 or in person by visiting the or .

For more information, visit www.cvartsfoundation.org.

Terry Liebowitz is a founding member of the Castro Valley Arts Foundation.

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