The Down syndrome community in New Zealand includes huge numbers of Shortland Street fans and they were excited to see Jacob Dombroski become the first actor with Down syndrome to feature in one of the country’s iconic shows.
The Wellingtonian actor already has an impressive track record and performed his successful one-man dance, music and theatre show Big J Stylez at the Wellington Fringe Festival and Auckland’s Herald Theatre.
That is where he was spotted by Shortland Street producer Maxine Fleming who casted him for a three show guest appearance.
The 26-year-old played the character Winston who is the younger brother of Lincoln and Prince Kimiora.
The talented actor and dancer told the Herald on Sunday that his character was “nice, chatty and always open hearted”.
He told the paper that he was lifetime fan of Shortland Street and that landing the role was a dream come true.
“I’m so happy about this opportunity and being able to challenge myself,” he told the Herald on Sunday.
The Big J Stylez show was a breakthrough moment for Jacob and shows his the struggles he faced growing up.
The show was created with Wellington theatre company Everybody Cool Lives Here, where Jacob gets the full support of the artistic brainstrust of Rose Kirkup and Nic Lane.
Shortland Street producer Fleming said that they were always looking for new voices and she had heard about Jacob’s outstanding performance in Big J Stylez.
“So we flew him up to discuss creating a guest role for him on the show as Lincoln and Prince Kimiora’s brother,” she told the Herald.