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July 18, 2013

Finding his 'Corner of the Sky'

Young Rowley actor stars in Boston Children's Theatre's 'Pippin'

In “Pippin,” a young prince searches for meaning in his life, wondering where he fits in.

At the age of 12, Brendan Callahan of Rowley has found that the theater is what suits him best — at least so far.

“It’s really what I like to do,” he said, though he admits he was apprehensive about taking the leap at first.

With the encouragement of friends and his parents, Michelle and Tom, he auditioned for his first show two years ago, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” at the Neverland Theatre in Beverly. He won the part of a news reporter.

“That turned out great and I liked it, so I kept doing more theater,” said Brendan, who attends Shore Country Day School in Beverly. Roles in “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” “The Little Mermaid Jr.” and “Aladdin Jr.” soon followed.

Now he is taking on his biggest role yet, starring as Pippin in the Boston Children’s Theatre production playing tonight through Sunday at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield.

“It’s kind of overwhelming because I’ve never had a part this big before,” he said. “I was Aladdin in ‘Aladdin Jr.,’ but Aladdin is not in as much of the show as Pippin.”

The musical is being presented by the theater’s Summer Studio Three program and features a cast of 58 students who range in age from 9 to 14. The cast is split into two groups that each perform in three of the six shows. Brendan, who shares the role of Pippin with Evan Dell, 10, of Manchester, N.H., will appear tomorrow night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday night.

This is Brendan’s second year attending the Studio Three program, which runs for four weeks and includes intensive acting, dance and musical theater training, in addition to rehearsals. Last year, he played Emmett in “Legally Blonde.”

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