Ximone Rose's high school career is not like that of Patrice, the lonely outsider she played in the musical 13 at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Rose's acting has put her in the spotlight, and she learned she was nominated for a Big Easy Award for playing Patrice when it was posted on a bulletin board in the halls of the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA).
"I was excited!" she says, "I was screaming and jumping in the halls."
Rose won the award for Best Performance by a Child in 2010. The announcement is made in advance of the awards event because nominees in the category are unable to attend the presentation inside Harrah's New Orleans Casino.
Rose has been a familiar face at both Le Petit and in productions at NOCCA. Audiences saw her in 13 in March 2010 and Hairspray in September at Le Petit. The Broadway musical 13 is about teens attempting to fit in and climb the social hierarchy at school, sometimes at one another's expense. Working with an all-teenage cast was nothing new for Rose, but it was a chance to be in a professional show.
"It was always high energy and a lot of fun," Rose says. "It was interesting being in a small cast. We got a lot of attention."
Rose grew up in a family familiar with performance. Her father is jazz saxophonist Brent Rose, and the actor also plays piano. She says she got her start in music and then became interested in theater. The 17-year-old high school senior splits her days between NOCCA and Benjamin Franklin Charter High School.
Rose is rehearsing currently for two shows that will open next month at NOCCA, The Secret Garden and Intimate Apparel.
In the fall, she will enter the University of Michigan, where she plans to pursue a degree in musical theater. She is excited about the program's dual focus on acting and music, and she hopes to become a professional actor: "I want to be a performer for the rest of my life."