South Auckland actress in 1984
Not a lot of people get to see Tia Ormsby’s scary side, but that is soon about to change.
The 11-year-old has traded in her big smile to star in the stage adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, at ASB Waterfront Theatre this month.
It’s a contrast from the South Aucklander’s first professional production, also set in 1984 and staged at the ASB Waterfront, dance musical Billy Elliot in 2016.
This time around she’s staring, judging, and delivering punchy lines as the child in the play, a role she shares with a Pukekohe schoolgirl.
‘‘This is something completely different from what I’m used to,’’ Tia says.
‘‘There are way more words and I’m not as happy. But I do get to sing.’’
A natural performer, Tia’s been treading the boards since she was just 3, first as a dancer then finding her feet in community theatre productions.
Her big break came in Auckland Theatre Company’s Billy Elliot, where she shared the role of lead girl, Debbie, for two months, and she hasn’t slowed down since.
She manages dance, piano and te reo Ma¯ori lessons on top of shows and school, and once 1984 is over she’s performing in Fiddler on the Roof with Manukau Performing Arts.
It’s no surprise to mum, Tawera Ormsby, that Tia’s ended up where she has, she’s always known her daughter has been unique.
‘‘I remember dropping her off for her first rehearsal at Manukau Performing Arts and to me it felt like I had dropped her at home.
‘‘She’d found her Ormsby says.
With blackouts, torture scenes, blood, and violence, 1984 is not a show for the faint-hearted, with some overseas audiences vomiting and fainting.
Tia herself is too young to watch the whole show, so she knows what goes on in her scenes, but will position herself backstage with some music or have a nap while she’s not on stage.
‘‘It’s been really good because it’s inspired conversations around things she’s too young to understand fully,’’ Ormsby says.
Part of Auckland Arts Festival, 1984 runs until March 25, with tickets available at the festival’s website. people,’’
Performing has always come naturally to Tia Ormsby, who’s landed a role in the stage adaptation of 1984.