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RISE

At 13, Andrew Cekala is at home on the big stage

Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff

Age: 13

Hometown: Weston

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Think of: We should probably say Daniel Radcliffe or another talented young actor of recent vintage. But he reminds us of Lance Kerwin, who starred in the Boston-set “James at 15,” long before Andrew was born.

What caught our eye: He made an impression twice recently at the American Repertory Theater with his performances as Theo in “Pippin” and Jethro Summers in the current “The Heart of Robin Hood” — despite the acrobatics and drama around him in both shows.

Lightbulb moment: He began performing at age 5 at the Watertown Children’s Theatre, and at 8 won a role in his first professional show, “The Life of Galileo” at the Underground Railway Theater. “Just the experience of working with all the other actors there sparked the light bulb and said, ‘This is what I really like doing.’ ”

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Biggest thrill: Going to Broadway with the ART’s “Pippin.” “Just finding out it was going to Broadway was a huge, huge thrill for me, because that’s always been something I thought would never happen, because I’m from small-town Massachusetts, and nobody does anything like that.”

Biggest surprise: Is ours: Despite his stage successes, he says he hasn’t decided that acting is his life’s work. Andrew, an eighth-grader at Weston Middle School, really likes to write and is good at science too.

Inspired by: “Does it have to be an actor?” No. “I would probably say, in just the lifestyle point of view, my parents because they drive me everywhere, and that’s a big help when you’re an actor and you’re a kid. They’ve really always supported me in what I want to do. When I went to New York, they rented an apartment for us.”

Aspires to: “[That] whatever I do with my life, that I love to do it, that I’ll put all my heart into it. Of course I’m 13, so I’ve still got some time to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

For good luck: He has two iPod playlists to choose from before a show, one with techno music for sad days and one with lots of Billy Joel and Elton John for the rest of the time.

What people should know: “I like to write songs a lot. I play cello, guitar, and ukulele, and my brother plays piano and he’s teaching me. I love to swim. And I like to take pictures, too.”

Coming soon: “The Heart of Robin Hood” continues through Jan. 19.

Links:www.americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/heart-robin-hood

Joel Brown can be reached at jbnbpt@gmail.com
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