'Make Believe': Four kids carry weight of unique, adult play at Hartford Stage
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) - "Make Believe," now playing at Hartford Stage, is an emotional, grown-up play yet child actors carry the first act.
"One day we go around looking for our mom - our dad is on a business trip and we can’t find our mom," explains 10-year-old Sloane Wolfe. The parents don't immediately return home.
"I start providing for my siblings and being the father figure," says Roman Malenda, 11-years-old. "It’s just sad because some children really have to go through this," adds Sloane.
The four young stars lighten the mood when they can, especially when hanging-out on the 1980s inspired set.
"I don’t know a lot about the 80s but I think I’ve learned a lot," says Roman. "Atari? So much fun, right? I get to play onstage."
9-year-old Alexa Swinton is playing with toys onstage as the audience enters the venue: "It’s really fun because I’m being Addie playing. Who doesn’t like to play?" The kids are juggling their acting duties - with their studies - because they love their craft. 8-year-old R.J. Vercellone - who lives in Milford - has history at Hartford Stage.
"I was in A Christmas Carol," he explains. "I played Tiny Tim...I love all the friends I made in this show and I love all the friends in the last show, it’s kind of like a community."
Adult actors join the story in Act Two. It's a unique show that makes audience members think about life and love.
"I hope they learn to get back with their siblings or have some family, friend time," says Alexa.