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July 11, 2013

Adventures in Munchkinland

Port girl in North Shore's Music Theatre's 'The Wizard of Oz'

(Continued)

“The Wizard of Oz” is Maggie’s sixth show at NSMT. Her first role was in the chorus of 2010’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” She played Belinda Cratchit twice in “A Christmas Carol,” in 2010 and 2011, and Tessie in last year’s “Annie.” She has also appeared in countless productions throughout the region, starting with her first role at age 4 as Molly in “Annie” at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport.

But “The Sound of Music” holds a special place in her heart.

“It was always my dream to be in ‘The Sound of Music’ at the North Shore Music Theatre,” she said. “It’s probably my favorite show I’ve ever done.”

For the Budzynas, doing theater is very much a family affair: Maggie’s dad, John, is the executive director of the Arlington Center for the Arts and the former executive director of the Firehouse. He has also appeared at NSMT, playing four roles in last year’s “A Christmas Carol.” Dierdre is the co-owner of the Acting Out! theater education program at The Tannery Marketplace in Newburyport and has directed a number of local shows.

Maggie’s brother, Colin, 16, has also acted in a number of local productions and will next appear in Boston Children’s Theatre’s “Hair” at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield this August. Her sister, Erin, 14, hasn’t been bit by the acting bug, but she does dance at Little Broadway in Newburyport.

“The Wizard of Oz” also plays an important role in their family’s history. John and Dierdre first met while both were appearing in a Mount Holyoke College Summer Theatre production, him as the Scarecrow, her as a flying monkey.

After this musical closes on Aug. 4, Maggie will devote her time to The Performing Project, a nonprofit workshop that she started in Lawrence to allow underprivileged children to do theater. Last year, she raised $6,000 to put on “Annie Jr.” This year, she has collected $11,000 for “Seussical Jr.”

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