Things are ‘Peach’-y for Dunbar

VANCOUVER – It’s not a typical experience for young people who are fresh out of post-secondary to land their dream job right away. But for Cloverdale-raised Kayla Dunbar, she’s been acting and dancing her way to success since before graduation.The 26-year-old actress, whose most recent credits include playing the lead role of Kate Monster in the Arts Club’s Avenue Q this year, is a recent graduate of Langara College’s Studio 58 program, but is already making rounds in the Vancouver theatre circuit."I kind of had a little bit of a foot in the door before, so I had contacts when I graduated," Dunbar admitted, adding that she acted in a production of Hairspray and The Wizard of Oz before graduation."I was one of the lucky ones. It doesn’t happen for everybody, but I somehow just had everything lined up," she said.Dunbar hasn’t stopped working at her craft since the age of 12. Shortly after taking dance lessons as a preteen, she realized she could sing, and got a scholarship to a musical theatre camp at Surrey Arts Centre. She then transferred from Clayton Heights Secondary to Langley Fine Arts School to pursue acting. And, when she’s not taking the stage, you can find her assistant-teaching acting classes at Granville Island’s CarouselTheatre for Young People or instructing dance at Surrey Arts Centre’s musicaltheatre intensives.Working with kids, it seems, is something Dunbar just can’t get away from."I think I just naturally gravitated towards children’s theatre," she said. "It kind of found me."Now choreographing at Carousel for the heartwarming James and the Giant Peach, the classic Roald Dahl story about an unwanted orphan who stumbles upon a giant magical peach and embarks on a fantastical adventure, Dunbar is finding her passion in working with kids."(Carousel) didn’t even know I had a huge background in teaching kids and working with kids a lot," she told the Now. "I just think children’s theatre is so important, it’s something that I’m very passionate about now."James and the Giant Peach opened Dec. 6 and continues until Jan. 4 at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre. For show info, visit Carouseltheatre.ca or call 604-685-6217.kalexandra@thenownewspaper.com