Local Thespian to be in ‘Velveteen Rabbit’ Opening on Friday

Twelve-year-old Heather Buccini of Winthrop is set to perform in Boston Children’s Theatre’s magical production of “The Velveteen Rabbit,” that opens Friday at Endicott College’s Manninen Center for the Arts in Beverly.

It’s been a busy year for the talented young actress. Heather has appeared in the Winthrop Playmaker’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” as Alice, in “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Stoneham Theater and in “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” at Wheelock Family Theater.

One of the most distinguished roles in her career was in “Annie,” staged before capacity crowds at the North Shore Music Theatre. Locally she also excelled in the lead role of Annie in Winthrop School of Performing Arts presentation of the play.

This week Heather will be adding to her dimension of acting by operating a puppet, “Wild Rabbit,” in the BCT production. Heather will actually be stationed underneath the stage.

“It’s really hard because you don’t have a lot of room and it’s really dark,” said Heather. “I will be underneath the stage the whole show.”

“This is something completely new and challenging for Heather, which is great,” said her mother, Jill. “BCT has been doing the show for six years and they’ve had a lot of success with it. Heather is really growing as an actress, especially in this particular role. I’m proud of her.”

Heather said even though she’ll be off stage, she still had to memorize all her lines. “I think this experience is helping me improve as an actress.”

The Middle School sixth grader is not limiting her experiences to the stage. She appeared as an extra in the 2014 movie starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Siegel. She is in a scene in a schoolyard and was paid for her work.

In 2015, Heather will be pursuing roles in other BCT productions. She is also playing basketball for a Winthrop travel team and taking dancing and singing classes at Trudy Macero’s Winthrop School for Performing Arts.

Heather said as always she’s grateful for the support of her No. 1 fan, her grandmother, Ann Crossman. “We call her Gaga.”

Heather added that she’s looking forward to the day when she enters the new Winthrop High School and has the chance to perform is the state-of-the-art auditorium that is part of the project. “We’re so excited about that,” said Jill Buccini.

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