SM East duo will take stage during Kauffman Center’s inaugural summer

Emmy Hadley (left) and Madeleine Heigele will perform in Aida at the Kauffman Center this summer.
Even at their young age, SM East students Emmy Hadley, 17, and Madeleine Heigele, 15, are no strangers to big audiences.

They’ve performed on the stages of the Coterie, Theatre in the Park and Starlight in productions like the Sound of Music, Cinderella and Xanadu.

But the chance to perform at the state-of-the-art Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts during its inaugural year has both pretty excited.

“It’s an amazing feeling being on stage and working along professional actors — people who have been on Broadway,” said Hadley. “And the chance to do it at the Kauffman Center just makes it all the more special.”

Hadley and Heigele have been cast as part of the eight-girl teen ensemble that will sing and dance during the production of Aida, an expansive musical with a score written by Elton John.

The girls’ rehearsals for the show start in July, with the production opening to the public on August 3.

“It’s really exciting, but also nerve wracking at the same time,” Hadley said. “This is the kind of thing you work for a long time, and it’s amazing to be performing for a big, city-wide crowd.”