ST. GEORGE — Lilly Mae Stover is not your ordinary 12-year-old girl. The Vista School student is a musical theater veteran who has already graced the stage of Tuacahn Center for the Arts in three seasons of the amphitheater’s Broadway in the Desert productions.
Her busy schedule includes her regular school day, dance classes – both during and after school – piano lessons and voice lessons.
It may sound exhausting, but for Stover, who started taking dance lessons when she was just 3 years old, there are few things she would rather be doing than performing.
“It is more than just a hobby for me,” she said, adding that Tuacahn is like a second home to her.
The young stage phenom has performed in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Matilda,” “Prince of Egypt,” “When You Wish” and “The Sound of Music.”
And she is going back for more. Auditions for the 2020 Tuacahn season are coming up, and Stover said she hopes to land a role in the production of “Annie.”
Also coming up for her is “Mary Poppins” at Vista School, where she will be one of two people double cast in the title role.
Stover’s mother, Amy, said her daughter is an accomplished performer in large part because she has been guided by the best teachers and mentors around.
From her school and music teachers to the incredible family of casts and crews she has been privileged to work with and learn from at Tuacahn, Amy Stover is quick to point out how blessed her daughter has been in her young career by being exposed to so many talented people.
The fourth of five children, Lilly Mae Stover is the first in her family to pursue musical theater, and her mother said they are learning as they go and going where God takes them.
But the 12-year-old’s passion is catching on, and her younger brother is also taking a liking to the stage.
Nine-year-old Charlie Stover recently performed in Tuacahn’s Christmas production of “Elf The Musical.”
“He was so cute,” Lilly Mae Stover said of her little brother.
The brother and sister have also started dabbling in television and film acting, participating in short films and commercials.
During the 2019 Tuacahn season, Lilly Mae Stover also booked three commercials, her mother said.
Now the rising star has set her sights on using her talents for a cause she is passionate about: saving the ocean.
Stover said she first learned about the large amounts of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans when she participated in a school science fair.
“Last year I did my science project on plastic pollution … and I’m really passionate about saving the environment,” Stover said.
Her project tested alternatives to the plastic wrap used for sealing food items, she said.
The science fair project acted as a sort of muse for a song she wanted to write about the environment and plastic pollution. So Stover turned to one of her mentors, singer/songwriter and music producer Lacey Williams.
Stover took her lyrics and a tune in her head to Williams and asked her to help make the song a reality. She said the creative process with Williams was an amazing learning experience for her.
The song is called “Hey Ocean,” and Stover has been in the recording studio at Tuacahn High School to produce it for distribution on streaming services soon.
“It’s super exciting,” she said.
Stover will be debuting her song live at the opening of “The Maybelle Series,” a concert dedicated to celebrating female singer/songwriters taking place Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Affogato West, 214 N. 1000 East, St. George. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
She will also continue her scientific efforts to reduce single-use plastics with her next science fair experiment testing alternatives to plastic bubble packaging.
As for the future, Amy Stover said she isn’t sure where her daughter will end up. Hopefully college for musical theater, dance or singing, she said, but maybe she will end up in marine biology saving sea animals from dangerous plastic pollution.
Lilly Mae Stover has perhaps an even more ambitious goal for her future: Broadway.
“Broadway is any girl’s dream,” she said.
- What: “The Maybelle Series.”
- When: Friday, Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: Affogato West, 214 N. 1000 East, St. George.
- Cost: High school and college students with valid identification/children under 14, $7; general admission, $10.
- Purchase tickets: Online or at the door.
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