HINGHAM – For 12-year-old Marcus Myers, a recent winner of a regional young actor award, the gift of role-playing came very early on.
“When I was 4, my mom would put ‘The Lion King’ on TV, and I would start repeating the characters’ words and doing the facial expressions they had,” Marcus says.
“The ability to act comes naturally to him,” confirms his mother, Anita Riley, who began to place him in commercials and short films from an early age.
She also encouraged him to audition for theater roles in school and in the community. These plays included several versions of “The Lion King,” in which he first played the evil Scar – “one of my favorites,” Marcus says – and then played Simba, the lead role of the young lion.
For last October’s “Seussical the Musical,” the Hingham Civic Music Theater production for which Marcus was honored by the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters, Riley says his Brockton family “attended every show. , watching Marcus do what he’s been blessed with. “Marcus has a four-year-old twin brother and sister, Amir and Stori, and a six-month-old baby sister, Dallas.
Just from its title, “Seussical” might sound like a kid’s thing. His literal menagerie of characters, all taken from Theodor Seuss Geisel’s Dr. Seuss books, originally from Springfield, includes a sad elephant named Horton, who sits on an egg for a friend; a shy bird named Gertrude McFuzz, ashamed of having only one feather; and a cat in a red and white stovepipe hat that connects the whole game.
“But it’s incredibly complex musically,” with a predominantly adult cast, although “it’s a fun show with a lot of appeal to kids,” says Victoria Kirichok-Pratt, also of Brockton, who ran the production. at Hingham. The music is by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who also wrote the score for “Ragtime”.
Marcus’ role as JoJo put him in multiple scenes, where he “just won the hearts of the whole cast,” as well as the audience, the director says. “He could do it all: sing and dance, move and just maintain a compelling stage presence throughout.”
Michael Warner, a South Shore theater veteran whose ubiquitous Cat-in-the-Hat character serves as master of ceremonies at “Seussical,” says Marcus “was always so prepared, knowing what scene was brewing, taking notes and asking all questions right. “
While Marcus credits Warner with mentoring and offering him performance advice, the older actor remembers the reverse.
“Once in a rehearsal, in a scene where we both go out together, Marcus reminded me that I was making a bad entry,” Warner says. “I would have just gone out alone and looked stupid.
“The Cat” notes that he had a soft spot for young “JoJo” because Warner himself was weeks away from becoming a father for the first time – with his son Jamie, now 9 months old.
How’s it going for Marcus these days, with no shows to play? A student who is part of the “talented and gifted” program, he is entering seventh grade this month at Brockton’s Plouffe Academy.
To keep busy while the live theater is on COVID-19 hiatus, Marcus recently started a furniture business, making and selling end tables that he pours concrete for making the round tops, supported by steel legs. wood.
Thinking of future acting gigs, in a post-pandemic environment, one musical that concerns him is the hit “Hamilton,” which he watched on Disney +. “I have always loved music,” he says. “I am open to all roles.”
Marcus was one of two actors in the “Youth Actor-Comedian” category to receive the honor of the East Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters on August 22. Award program director Celia Couture said the EMACT winners had “a great track record, especially for young artists who have gone to performing arts high schools and are now taking advantage of college programs in the performing arts. field of arts.
Those who know Marcus well are not afraid that his actor price will go to his head. “He’ll keep that in perspective,” according to “Seussical” director Kirichok-Pratt.
“He’s a smart kid and he could do a hundred other things too,” she said. “He could be an actor or he could be a rocket scientist.”
Roy Harris, a former reporter and author of The Wall Street Journal, is semi-retired and lives in Hingham, where he occasionally performs in community theater.
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