Doyen a future pharaoh?

Published 3:20 pm Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tij Doyen of Tryon is enthusiastically rehearsing his part as he transforms himself from a 15-year-old schoolboy into Radames, a captain in the Egyptian army in the upcoming youth production of Aida. Hes been interested in theater since the 4th grade, but not till 5th grade when I played Horton the Elephant did I really get a desire for the stage, he says.

Hes played Rooster in Annie, Harold Hill in The Music Man, Christopher Wren in Mousetrap, and was recently seen on TLTs stage as Friedrich in The Sound of Music, one of the Von Trapp children.

In this production his character is betrothed to Amneris, daughter of the ailing Pharaoh, and he is expected to succeed the Egyptian throne after the Pharaohs death (with Radames father gleefully rubbing his hands in the wings). But Radames finds himself intrigued by a Nubian slave, Aida, instead.

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Adam Pascal originated the role on Broadway and Luciano Pavarotti is just one of the famous singers to perform the role in Verdis original operatic version upon which this modern adaptation is based.

The best thing about a play or musical is the actual performance, Doyen says. I mean, its fun to learn the songs and practice with friends, but you never know how the performances will go – its always a mystery.&bsp; The worst part would have to be the stress. It takes a lot to put a musical together. Not only are there actors and actresses, but there are directors on the side lines pushing you to your fullest, needing you to be perfect. But in the end its worth it.

Elton John and Tim Rices Aida opens July 7 at the Tryon Fine Arts Center with a gala bash including gourmet food, wines and desserts.

On July 8 through 10, performances start at 8 p.m., and July 11, at 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the TLT Workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Saturday. For more information call 828-859-2466 or visit the website at