Local teenager KateMarie Andrews, 15, is stepping onstage among career professionals in the Children’s Theatre Company’s productions of “Three Little Birds” now playing through March 1.
The show marks Andrews’ first professional acting gig. She’s also been seen onstage recently in “Akeelah and the Bee” and “Seussical the Musical” at Burnsville High School, where she is a sophomore.
“She’s a bolt of light,” Director Shá Cage said. “She has such a sense of ease and finesse and playfulness, and an ability to just jump right in that is a director’s dream.”
The show is based on a story by Cedella Marley with music and lyrics by Bob Marley. It was adapted for stage by Michael J. Bobbitt with music direction by Sandford Moore.
The tale follows Ziggy, a boy recovering from trauma, as he learns to let go of worry and face his fears.
“What it’s about is being able to witness a young man’s coming of age, and what it takes, particularly as a brown person living with the world, to find confidences and strength and bravery and love,” Cage said.
Andrews plays Ziggy’s friend, Nansi, whom she described as an 11-year-old trickster who has a little crush on Ziggy. Her character helps Ziggy face his fears of leaving the house.
“You can’t hold yourself back because it can lead to you some amazing things if you let go and conquer those fears,” Andrews said about the show’s message.
The peace, warmth and color of Jamaican culture is also brought to life in the show.
“It’s all black people on stage,” Cage said, a rare thing particularly locally. “But it’s also incredibly beautiful to see brown bodies on stage loving, celebrating, laughing and experiencing life.”
Andrews got her start in theater at Eagle Ridge Middle School when she was 5 years old and her older brother was in tech crew. She said she’s grown a passion for theater she hopes to continue in a career.
“I’m so inspired by her,” Cage said. “I know she will continue to break new ground if she continues in the art.”