Sam Wise wanted to play the lead role in "13" badly. Like, really badly. Enough to make the 1.5 hour trip from his home in Overland Park to audition, and then, when he landed the role, to make that same trip several nights a week for rehearsal! (Shout-out to his mom, Danielle Hedlund, for keeping the car gassed up and the keys ready!)
Sam is 14 years old and attends Oxford Middle School in Overland Park. He'd been a member of the cast of "13" once before — in the ensemble at Spinning Tree Theatre in Kansas City. He's also performed in Oliver! at Musical Theatre Heritage, and A Christmas Carol at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
This time around in "13," he's playing the role of Evan Goldman, a boy that has to move from New York City to small town, Appleton, Indiana after his parents get divorced. In order to fit in Evan feels it is important get all the cool kids to come to his bar mitzvah. He goes through a lot of good and bad friendships to try and find what/who he truly cares about.
Traveling to Pittsburg to be in "13" has helped Sam be able to relate to Evan in some ways, because Sam is coming to a smaller town from a larger one, and wants to fit in with his cast mates in the show. The difference for Sam, his mom says, is that he was welcomed and included immediately and feels he has made great friends here already.
"We even have favorite local spots like Root and El Caballo," his mom says.
The trip to and from isn't as hard as one might expect; Sam uses it to catch up on sleep or practices songs from the show or his other favorite musicals.
"Sam was excited to work with Director Greg Shaw after coming to see Addams Family at PHS last fall," his mom says. "It was obvious working with him would be a great learning opportunity."
The show runs Friday-Sunday, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. More details can be found on our show page at www.pctinfo.org. Tickets: www.memorialauditorium.org