Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-21-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 SMITHFIELD NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER SMITHFIELD – For 10-year-old Ethan Kerwin, of Smithfield, a passion for musical theater was born when he watched "High School Musical" at 5 years old, and has continued to grow the more he practices and performs. Ethan, a 5th-grader at Anna McCabe Elementary School, has landed his first lead role with the Un-Common Theatre Company, based in Mansfield, Mass., and will be performing as Bruce in the musi- cal version of "Matilda" this week at the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center, 1 School St. in Foxboro, Mass. Of more than 100 children who auditioned, Ethan was one of 40 to land a role in "Matilda." He said his mother, Tricia, screamed when she learned he landed the role of Bruce. "I was so happy, and she was crying tears of joys. I was so excited for the first rehearsal. It's a big show and I really love it," Ethan said. Ethan shared the good news with his classmates and music teacher, who hung fliers around the school. Ethan's father, Chris, also did musi- cal theater as a kid and is supportive of his son's acting career, he said. When Ethan shared his interest in theater, he began taking voice lessons and acting classes. He said he gets a lot of practice from his vocal coach and his father. "This is his niche," Chris said. Ethan said he watched movies as a kid and thought he wanted to try out acting. His mother took him to his first performance at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, and he loved it. "I watched 'High School Musical,' and I knew I wanted to become an actor," Ethan said. He said thanks to his experience and practice, he isn't as nervous performing as he used to be. He said the more practice he gets, the more confident he is on stage. Ethan began taking year-round theater education in 1st grade at the Stadium Theatre, along with playing soccer and keeping up with home- work. His favorite part of musical theater is singing and acting. He said he loves to listen and sing along to musi- cals like "Matilda" and "Wicked." "I like acting a lot, but I love to sing. I can't not sing," Ethan said. Ethan said his confidence in "Matilda" caught the eye of the cho- reographer and landed him the role of Eddie in the same theater's pro- duction of "13" in January 2020. The sky is the limit for Ethan, who said his next plans are to audition for "Mary Poppins" and "Frozen Junior." His dream role is Olaf from "Frozen," he said. "Matilda" runs on Friday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. Tickets are sold in advance for $25 for adults and $20 for students at www.uncommontheatre.org/tickets, or for $27 and $22 at the door. Local youth lands role in 'Matilda' By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com KERWIN

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