Una Morrison, 18, who has been taking acting and singing lessons from the age of 6, will make her Off-Broadway debut May 3 as winner of the “Give A Girl Her Chance” contest sponsored by the producers of the musical Daddy Long Legs.
She will perform “The Secret of Happiness” following a performance of today's show at the Davenport Theatre in New York.
Morrison is studying performing arts at her local school and would like to go on to University to put the steps in place to pursue a career in musical theatre.
Applicants were asked to submit a video of their performance of the show's song “The Secret of Happiness,” with a winner to be picked by the public. Watch Morrison's winning video here:
Producer Ken Davenport said, “When Kate Shindle inspired me to start this contest, I never imagined that it would spread so far that a young woman from a small town in Northern Ireland would be our winner! We are thrilled to be able to fly Una all the way to New York to give her the chance she deserves.”
Davenport had previously explained his inspiration for the contest. “During my recent podcast interview with Kate Shindle the President of Actors Equity Association, she told me about how it is much harder for young musical theatre actresses to get their first ‘big break” than it is for man. This made me think about Daddy Long Legs, and how the main character Jerusha, is given her ‘big break’ by a mysterious benefactor. We decided it would be in the spirit of the show to give one talented young woman her Alexander Hamilton-like shot. ”
The prize also includes a voice session with Megan McGinnis, who stars in the show, and Paul Gordon, who wrote the music and lyrics. Round trip transportation and a one-night stay in a hotel will also be provided if the winner lives outside of New York.
Daddy Long Legs is a musical based on the 1912 novel by Jean Webster. Set in turn-of-the-century New England, it tells the story of Jerusha Abbott, the oldest orphan in the John Grier Home. A mysterious benefactor agrees to send her to college under the condition that she writes him a letter once a month, and through this correspondence, she shares her experiences of discovering literature, adventure, love and self. Not knowing who her aid is, she dubs him “Daddy Long Legs."
The two-actor production officially opened at the Davenport Theatre September 28, 2015. The new musical features music and lyrics by Tony nominee Gordon and a book by Tony winner John Caird. Caird, who also directs, reunites with Gordon following their earlier collaboration on the Tony-nominated Jane Eyre. The production currently stars McGinnis and Adam Halpin.
For more information and to purchase tickets visit DaddyLongLegsMusical.com.