Featured Student: Bella Anderson

Bella as DorothyBella is 12 years old and a sixth grader at Mission Hill Middle School. Before she learned to write she was making up and performing plays and skits with her friends. Sensitive to the conflicts and drama of human life, Bella delights in creatively expressing moods, characters, and events through acting, dancing, singing, writing, and directing plays.

She has studied voice with Santa Cruz Performing Art’s own Artistic Director, Ben Jammin Holck, and now studies voice with her extraordinary vocal coach, Lindsey Chester, Artistic Director for All About Theatre (AAT).Bella began training in dance when she was just five and currently dances and performs with Motion Pacific’s Kids Company. Currently, she delights in performing in AAT’s full-scale musical productions and will be playing the lead role of Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, set to hit the stage in January.

Bella as BabetteBella is most proud of her performance (at just nine years old) as Dorothy in SCPA’s 2010 production of The Wizard of Oz. Thrust into the spotlight, Bella gleefully discovered that, “There’s no place like home.” She explained, “I wish I could play Dorothy a thousand times…”. This is the precise moment when the stage ultimately became Bella’s home away from home. She credits Ben Jammin Holck for quickly recognizing her passion, focus and creative potential.

This January, SCPA is proud and excited to welcome Bella as our intern and choreographer for our 2013 mainstage revival of The Wizard of Oz, performing at the Aptos Academy Auditorium this March. Again working with Ben Jammin, Bella says she is both grateful and delighted to have been given this amazing opportunity at such a young age.

Bella AndersonSome of Bella’s favorite past acting roles include Mowgli in The Jungle Book, Brigitta von Trapp in SCPA’s The Sound of Music, and playing Ariel in AAT’s The Little Mermaid, which she says is likely her all time favorite role.

Last summer, Bella was thrilled to learn pantomime, audition preparation, and stage combat in an intensive acting workshop with Cabrillo Stage’s, Andrew Ceglio (also Founding Artistic Director of Spotlight Stage). Around the same time she also landed her first paid acting/voice over job with Learning in Motion, a company that produces award winning educational software.

Bella as ArielWith dreams of directing a full-length play, Bella wrote and directed her own neighborhood production, The Magic Wishing Well with a cast of ten. Attended by an overflow crowd of 75 people, the show raised $430 for the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The Santa Cruz Sentinel also published a story in its Sunday newspaper about Bella’s creative endeavor and generous charitable contribution to her community.

Bella Anderson approaches each day with the attitude that, “There is something amazing that is going to happen today. Then there is another great thing after that! I need to get to it”! Seemingly tireless and always eager to take on a new challenge, she looks forward to learning, and expanding her skills as a performer, as well as a choreographer and director in both theater and film. She plans to continue to work hard in school and to attend college with a double major in performing arts and public relations. Meanwhile, she plans to spend as much time as possible doing what she loves best: spending time with her close friends and family and singing, dancing, acting, learning, and giving each task, each activity, each performance her personal best.

Dorothy: Photograph by Don Nolte
Babette & Ariel: Photograph by Jade Loftus