Alayna Miller and Vaan Otto bring youthful enthusiasm to “The Music Man”

Alayna Miller and Vaan Otto | Photo by Shi Lessner Photography

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The Hartland Drama Club Troupe #4213 presents Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” April 26-28 and May 2, 4 and 5. From now until opening night, we will be introducing you to members of the production. Today, we meet Vaan Otto and Alayna Miller.

They may only be 9 and 11, but Vaan Otto and Alayna Miller are right at home on the Hartland High School stage. The young performers appear as Winthrop Paroo and Amaryllis in the Drama Club’s production of “The Music Man,” complementing the high school cast.

Otto, a third-grader at Lakes Elementary School and fan of “Les Misérables,” already has several community theater performances under his belt, as well as choir and dance experience. The son of Collin and Angela Otto and sibling to brother Carson, he says it’s “exciting to see the energy at each show.”

Also enthusiastic about being in the spotlight is Miller, a sixth-grader at Hartland Farms Intermediate School, and the daughter of Chris Miller and Carrie Eldridge and sibling to brother Jacob. She, too, has appeared in various Livingston County productions and “loves singing and being on stage.” Her favorite musical is “The Sound of Music.”

According to Otto, Drama Club Director Scott Usher and Sponsor/Producer Mary Jo Del Vero have been valuable mentors to the young actors.

“What I’ve learned from Mr. Usher is that if we work hard, this will be the best show ever,” said Otto. “’Ms. D.’ is super fun to work with and she has made me love singing even more than I thought I could.”

Both Otto and Miller say joining “The Music Man” cast has helped them become better performers. “I learned a lot from the high schoolers because they work closely together like a family and are always willing to help me and give me tips and advice,” said Miller.

Following months of preparation, Otto and Miller are excited to bring “The Music Man” to the community — and they’re grateful for the lessons they’ve learned in the process.

“My biggest takeaway from ‘The Music Man’ is to be kind and treat people like they matter,” said Otto. “It can change their whole life!”

The Hartland Drama Club Troupe #4213 is presenting Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27; at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, and Saturday, May 4; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $13 for seniors and students, and available for purchase at For every ticket sold for the Thursday, May 2, performance, $1 will be donated to the Humane Society of Livingston County. All performances will be held at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road, Hartland.

Photo by Shi Lessner Photography

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.