They say you can’t go home again, but Encore grad Courtney Holland proves you can. She’s returning – just for awhile – to star in Encore’s upcoming production of “Remember Paris,” in which she’ll play the lead role of Elizabeth, just like she did in 2000.
After graduating from Centreville High in 1998, she majored in acting at Wright State University in Ohio, graduating in 2002. She lived in Los Angeles for two years and further honed her craft.
“I worked with Second City, an improv company, danced in a music video, worked in a couple comedy shorts and was an extra in the movie, ‘National Treasure,’” said Holland. “Now I’m returning to L.A. and getting my SAG [Screen Actors Guild] card. What I really want to do is improv and singing and dancing — separately.”
Now and then, however, she comes back and performs in an Encore show under her former teacher, Raynor van der Merwe, who founded the dance company. “I love being with Raynor because she’s just incredible,” said Holland. “She’s so good for this area because she gives it such high-caliber dancing.”
“Everything I learned — and all my confidence in dancing and musical theater — I learned from her,” continued Holland. “She makes us all feel special and is very supportive. She encouraged me to have voice lessons, and then I sang in a Christmas show. I’m so well-rounded, and it’s all because of her. In almost every dance class I’ve taken, people have commented about my technique and how well I was trained.”
So how does it feel now to be in another Encore production? “I love it,” she said. “I’m almost jealous of the girls who get to be in all the dances. I miss being part of the company — the rehearsals and the tights. It’s just so much fun, so I’m happy as a clam here.”
<tgl>— Bonnie Hobbs