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The Lead: Kai Tomizawa

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juniephotoAchievements: Won several district-wide oratorical competitions on social justice and civil rights in Oakland before moving
to Portland last year. Completed two theater courses at OCT: Broadway Rocks and a film audition class.

Likes: Making short films with my family. We once made a film to go with a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Riding a unicycle! It’s easier than riding a bike.

Favorite musicals: Les Miserables, Wicked, Little Shop of Horrors…I’m interested in a new one every month. Especially looking forward to seeing
Allegiance, a new musical about Japanese-Americans in internment camps.

Dream roles: Elphaba in Wicked, Eponine or
Fantine in Les Mis—pretty much roles every girl wants to play.

Junie gets her way. The character of Junie is hilarious. She makes me laugh. She’s also a little stubborn, like I am. She’ll try until she gets what she wants. And she’s really dramatic.

It’s easier for me to play a character who’s younger than me than it would be to play an older character, because I’ve already been a first-grader, but I haven’t been a 20-year-old yet. There are a lot of first-graders on my street, so I spend a lot of time with them. I enjoy young people! They’re much more energetic than middle-schoolers, I’ve noticed, and they don’t care what other people think; they just say things.

This is my first lead role and my first role in a major production. I also dance a lot in this show, which I hadn’t really done before. There are a lot of jazz steps and jazz hands, and there’s a part where a boy picks me up and puts me on his shoulder, which is fun to practice.

See Kai in Junie B. Jones: The Musical with
Oregon Children’s Theatre, Oct. 24–Nov. 22, and again as Alice in Northwest Children’s Theater’s Alice in Wonderland, Jan. 30–Feb. 28

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