Eight-year-old Haven Pereira got the role and little sister Tegan Pereira spilled the beans.
Heather Pereira had learned via a telephone call that her daughter Haven had landed a role in the North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) production of “The Sound of Music.”
“I was walking out of school and my little sister said, ‘Can we tell her?’ and I was so confused,” recalled Haven. “My mother nodded yes and Tegan said, ‘you got the part,’ and I started to scream.”
Haven, a second grader at the Gorman/Fort Banks School, will appear as 6-turning-7-year-old Marta Von Trapp in 17 performances of the show that begins next Wednesday at the popular theater-in-the-round in Beverly.
Haven was appearing in the Winthrop Playmakers’ production, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” when Heather Pereira learned from another mom that NSMT was holding auditions for the Sound of Music.
Haven vied with 200 other girls for the role and there were three callbacks. She had to sing, recite lines, and dance for the show’s directors at the auditions.
Though Haven is new to acting, she has taken dancing lessons at the Winthrop School of Performing Arts under the direction of Trudy Macero. She studies voice with Lori Wadkins. Haven is also an aspiring gymnast who trains at the Viking Gymnastics Academy. She also participates in Winthrop Little League and Winthrop Youth Soccer.
Haven is rehearsing with the cast daily at NSMT as Opening Night approaches. She will have seven costume changes during the show and says her favorite song number is “Do, Re, Mi,” during which she will perform a round-off backhand spring and cartwheel on stage.
Some of her classmates told her they’ll be coming to the show. “I would love for my friends to come to the show,” said Haven.
Heather Pereira said she is “really excited” about her daughter’s big step to the NSMT stage at one of New England most prominent theaters-in-the-round.
“I’m super proud – this is the stuff that I used to like to do when I was a kid but I didn’t have that extra confidence,” said Pereira. “So it blows my mind that Haven goes into the rehearsals with these adult actors and directors and has no qualms about singing, dancing, and acting. She amazes me.”
Haven said she is having fun as an actor. “It’s on stage and a lot of people come to see the shows and you get to be another person and I love to sing and dance, but acting is my No. 1 thing besides gymnastics. I want to be on Broadway some day.”
Superintendent of Schools John Macero, husband of Trudy Macero, offered his congratulations to Haven and he will attending one of her performances.
“Trudy Macero is a great mentor, very supportive, and gives me a lot of good advice about theater and acting,” said Heather Pereira.
Haven’s No. 1 fan is her grandmother, Peggy Vecchia. Also expected to be in the audience at shows are her grandfather, former selectman Ron Vecchia, paternal grandparents Oldemiro and Maria Pereira, cousins Christina, Gabby, and Jillian Buonopane, and older sister Sabrina Pereira. Haven also has a little brother, two-year-old Jace Pereira.
“My grandfather [Ron Vecchia] has front row tickets on Opening Night,” said Haven. “I can’t wave to him during the show but I’ll see him afterwards.”