By Kate Anslinger
Winthrop has seen its fair share of achievements in theater arts, but the latest one involves an individual who has stood out among all others in the middle-school category across the state. Eighth-grader Heather Buccini was recently recognized as the Best Leading Actress in the middle school division for her unforgettable performance as Princess Fiona in “Shrek the Musical, Jr.”
Buccini, who is no stranger to the theatrical world, has shared a bit about her history on the stage and what it’s like to receive such an esteemed award from the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild.
How long have you been involved in theater?
I have been involved in theater for nine years. My mom took me on my first audition at age 6, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
What do you love about being on the stage?
When I am on the stage, it feels incredible. I am truly the happiest when I am performing! I love being totally in character and try to truly become that person while on stage. I love the energy from the audience and making people smile. It is the best feeling in the world!
Do you prefer being cast in musicals or plays?
I definitely prefer musicals!
What were your first thoughts when you found out that you received the Best Leading Actress award?
I couldn’t believe it! Last year I was nominated for my role as Horton in “Seussical Junior,” but I didn’t win. This year when I was nominated for Princess Fiona in “Shrek,” I thought I probably wouldn’t win again but I was just honored to be nominated for a second year in a row. When they announced my name, I stood there frozen for a moment. It took me a few seconds to comprehend that I was the winner!
Do you see yourself continuing with theater throughout life?
I think that I will always be involved in theater because I love performing! I am starting high school next year and I am beginning to think about my future. I am not exactly sure what I want to do yet but musical theater is a possibility. It’s a tough career so I may consider it as a minor.
Do you have any role models?
My mom! She always supports me and helps me be the best I can be! She always tells me to go after my dreams. As far as actress role models, Sutton Foster (Princess Fiona) is my favorite! She is so talented and fun to watch! She has worked in television, movies and on Broadway.
In addition to her many performances in Winthrop, Buccini has performed in several venues across Massachusetts, including North Shore Music Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Boston Children’s Theatre and The Concord Players. Of the many roles she has been cast as, her favorites are: Annie in Annie, Brigitta in The Sound of Music, Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical, Jr., Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Horton In Seussical Jr, and Baby June in Gypsy.