AS just a nine-year-old Camden's Stella Barahona is no stranger to treading the boards.
In February this year she performed the title role in Annie at Parramatta Riverside Theatres during a sell-out season alongside Australian theatre veteran Amanda Muggleton.
Now she is back at Parramatta in Beauty and the Beast, by Packemin Productions, which opens on July 19.
Stella, who has been dancing since she was aged two, said she enjoyed performing on stage.
"I enjoy doing musical theatre because I like singing and dancing and acting.
"Sometimes I'm a bit nervous but it feels really good to be on stage."
Shows by Packemin Productions put professional actors in lead roles and build the rest of the cast from aspiring amateurs.
Stella, who goes to Commotion School of Performing Arts in Smeaton Grange, said she learns from the professional performers by seeing how they embody characters on stage.
Her mother Lisa Barahona was very proud with Stella on stage.
"It was almost a bit surreal to think that's her up there — she is very talented," Ms Barahona said.
"She started singing a couple of years ago through a teacher at Commotion Performing Arts and they do drama there as well.
"Her dance teacher suggested she try out for Annie."
Stella said she would like to perform professionally in musical theatre one day.