Musical theatre student lands on the big stage


Emily Lukasik


One of Sheridan’s own,  Emily Lukasik, is starring in the return of Once the musical at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre.

For years, Lukasik had been involved in community theatre and local drama camps, but it was at Sheridan’s Music Theatre Performance degree program where she discovered her deep passion for musical theatre.

“I am happy to say that  [passion] has continued to grow and deepen these past three and a half years, especially now as I am beginning to understand how connected it is with my other passions of community outreach and  social justice,” Lukasik said in an e-mail interview.

Lukasik has starred in several Sheridan productions such as A Doll’s House, Marathon of Hope and is currently in rehearsing for Little Women, which premieres this week.

While Lukasik is finishing up her final year at Sheridan, her talent landed her a role in Once as Réza.

Once is a musical adaptation of the 2006 film of the same name, written by Enda Walsh. It is best known for its  Academy Award-winning song “Falling Slowly”.

Each actor in the musical plays an instrument. Lukasik says the audition process was different than most for music theatre.

“I had to prepare violin sides from the show, a song of my own choosing to sing and accompany myself on the piano, as well as two scenes to read,” said Lukasik. 

Initially, the casting  directors were not sure which of the two violinist roles fit Lukasik, but with her Eastern European background they found that Réza would be right for her.


“As the process went on, I put a lot of focus into the character work since my natural physicality and bubbly energy didn’t lend themselves to the feisty, fierce role I was being considered for,” Lukasik said.

It took a month of spread out auditions for Lukasik to find out whether she landed the role.

“There was almost an entire week between my final callback and that fateful phone call. Though it was an inevitably crazy time of ‘what ifs…’ I have learned that the only way my heart will handle this business of unknowns is by surrendering it all and trusting what is,” Lukasik said.

Sure enough, she got it.


Kitchen Radio- The Blyth Festival (PC: Terry Manzo, Set: Laura Gardner, Lights: Rebecca Picherak, Costumes: Jennifer Triemstra)

“My reaction was one of pure shock and elation. I burst into tears! It has continued to hit me time and time again in different ways, and for different reasons. My body often has to see it to believe it, so each time another step of the process is revealed [the official Mirvish announcement, signing my contract, etc.], it’s a new whole new wave of excitement, “ said Lukasik.

Lukasik is preparing for a busy new year, as she will be balancing both her studies and her acting career with the approval of Sheridan’s associate dean of Visual and Performing Arts, Michael Rubinoff.

“Next semester, I’ll be completely focused on Once until the show opens, after which I will be coming into Sheridan as often as possible for classes and tutorials. I am very grateful to my program and our associate dean, Michael Rubinoff, who have made it possible for me to still graduate with my class,” Lukasik said.

Lukasik will be starring in Little Women at Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus this week, and in Once premiering Feb. 10 in Toronto at the Ed Mirvish Theatre.