Mamma Mia – stepping into a new role

The sky’s the limit for Joshua Lalisan, a 20-year-old actor and dancer living in Surrey, British Columbia. He will be playing the role of Sky Rymand in Theatre Under the Stars’ (TUTS) rendition of Mamma Mia.

The character of Sky Rymand is the love interest of Sophie Sheridan, a woman trying to find her father. Sky and Sophie met when Sky was travelling, trying to find something, himself.

Mamma Mia runs from July 5 to August 16.

Performing in a favorite musical

Joshua Lalisan plays Sky Rymand in Mamma Mia.| Photo by Joshua Lalisan.

Lalisan is excited to be playing the part of Sky, although he says it is a bit of a different role for him, as he would have never guessed that he would audition for the role of Sky.

“Everyone loves Mamma Mia,” he points out.

Set on a Greek island, Mamma Mia is a musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on songs from the band ABBA. Although Mamma Mia is one of his favourite musicals, Lalisan says that he is also a big fan of the musical RENT by Jonathan Larson, based loosely on the opera La BohemeRENT is a contrast to Mamma Mia, and is about a group of young, starving artists trying to survive New York City and has heavy themes such as HIV/AIDS.

Career and ambitions

Lalisan has had to face some challenges in his life and career.

“Socially, it is not easy to be a male dancer,” he says. As an example, he said that sometimes artists have to wear makeup and that certain people are not comfortable with men and boys wearing makeup.

“It doesn’t matter what people think; just enjoy your happiness,” he says about overcoming challenges.

When asked whom his biggest inspiration was when it comes to musical theatre, Lalisan says he finds something in every performer that he sees.

Lalisan is a recent graduate of the Musical Theatre program at Capilano University. He chose to study at Capilano University because the university has, he says, a very supportive atmosphere, a great sense of community and many opportunities to make important connections. He felt right at home when he auditioned for the program.

Lalisan has been performing since he was young, beginning dance at age seven (dance was his first love, apart from acting). He also has experience training both in the Philippines and Los Angeles.

Of children and goals

Lalisan has a day job as well, teaching dance to children. He loves children and “wants 40 of them” when the time comes for him to become a parent. Working with children, he says, helps him to “reconnect” with his “inner child.”

As for his ultimate goals ?

“I want to perform as long as I can,” he says, adding that he would love to perform on television.

Lalisan also wants to inspire more dancers, especially male dancers.

“I want to be a good influence on younger male dancers,” he says.


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