Former Langley student wins swing role in major musical

Eva Tavares cast as ensemble swing performer in world premiere of Sousatzka

Former Langley Fine Arts student Eva Tavares is taking on the role as an ensemble swing performer in Sousatzka, a new musical.

A former Langley Fine Arts student is dancing her way into the spotlight in Toronto.

Eva Tavares is taking on the role as an ensemble swing performer in Sousatzka, a new musical making its world premiere at Elgin Theatre in Toronto on Feb. 25.

The story follows Themba, a young South African boy and piano prodigy who has escaped apartheid in South Africa.

He arrives in London, England with his mother and is quickly taken under the wing of the masterful piano teacher Madame Sousatzka.

As immigrants they form a bond, leaving Themba torn between the two most important and powerful women in his life.

Tavares got the part while in Toronto for two unrelated auditions. Her agent caught wind that producer Garth Drabinsky was looking for a talented, versatile triple threat, and managed to schedule a meeting.

Drabinsky apologized for not being able to book a pianist or a studio, to which Tavares responded, “I can dance right here.”

She surveyed the large, carpeted corner office, pushed all the chairs aside, took off her shoes and began dancing. She did a bit of choreography, a monologue, some singing and ended up with the part.

As an ensemble swing performer, Tavares has to learn every note, every move and every word of five different roles. She must be prepared to go on a moment’s notice in any of the parts. It’s an exciting and unique, but stressful element of the theatre.

While not performing, Tavares, who is also a graduate of UBC Opera, is an off-grid farmer in Sorrento, B.C. She shares her stories “from the middle of nowhere” on her blog, Off Grid Chick.

Tavares is also the creator of a series of ongoing videos called ‘Sousatswings’ that features the unique perspective of the show’s four swing performers, backstage with the cast and crew.

Tickets for Sousatzka are on sale at

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