Super Pal, Super Star: or, The Little Girl In "M" (part 2)

by:  Matt Chapuran at 04/04/2013

To recap from the last post, the Huntington Theatre Company was looking for a kid to appear in a small role in Ryan Landry's"M," a wild new play that riffs on the Fritz Lang German film of the same name that gave us Peter Lorre as an obsessed child killer.

A parade of my co-workers exited the conference room where they had been auditioning Eva, my seven year old daughter. She had charmed them all with her seriousness. Like taking the page from the script that explained her role and circling the words she didn't know. When the director  explained what she wanted her to do, she asked Eva if she wanted her to walk through it with her. "No, that's okay," Eva said. "I get it."

When the producer thanked her for coming, Eva was bold. "Am I going to get to be in the play?" she asked. When told that they'd love to have her, she silently nodded, as if to say, I'll think about it.

Later, I asked her if it was scary being in that room all by herself. "Oh, no," she said. "I mean, those were four beautiful and kind ladies."

The first weekend she was called, she had a ball. Her only complaint: When she arrived, there was a table with coffee mugs, one for each of the actors but none for her or the fourth grader with whom she was splitting the role.

"Probably, they just figured the two of you don't drink coffee," I explained.

"We could drink cocoa," she said. "I would bring cocoa."

Along the way, Eva visited our costume shop for wardrobe fittings and took part in a photo shoot that yielded this image, which eventually found its way into the Boston Globe.

I asked her one day if she liked rehearsal.

"No," she said.

"I love it. I don't like it. I love it."

One night, we got an email saying that Eva wasn't needed for the next day's rehearsal. When I told her that after she woke the next morning, she went back to her room and cried.

Going into tech week, she'd say things like, "Today is the best day ever because today is three days until the day before the day I go on stage."

Then the morning of her first preview performance, we woke to find out, the show had been cancelled for the night. I was sure she'd break into pieces when she got the news...


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