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Rise

Musical theater is Maritza Bostic’s enchanted forest

Mark S. Howard

Age: 21

Hometown: Reading

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Think of: Whitney Houston. Yes, her voice has that kind of power.

What caught our eye: Her magnetic stage presence. When she’s on stage, you cannot look away, and yet she knows how to blend into the ensemble. In the middle of her final semester at Salem State University (she graduated with a BFA in theater with a minor in music), Bostic sang and danced up a storm as one of the Dynamites in the Wheelock Family Theatre’s “Hairspray,” and is now giving the Big Bad Wolf a run for his money in the Lyric Stage Company’s “Into the Woods.” “I love playing Little Red Riding Hood,” she says, “because she’s rebellious without being a brat.”

Lightbulb moment: “At a young age, I realized that what I loved about theater was the fact that I get the opportunity to tell someone’s story that might not be otherwise be told. I continue to have this realization at either the first day of tech or during a musical sitzprobe” (the first rehearsal when the orchestra and the performers come together).

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Biggest thrill: “I graduated from Salem State University on May 17 and immediately went to a double show day” (for “Into the Woods”).

Biggest surprise: “I am always surprised when someone says thank you to me after a performance. I usually feel like I should thank them for accepting my vulnerability on stage.”

Inspired by: “My brother, James. He’s 14, the happiest and the most awesome person I know. He truly is my hero.”

Aspires to: “If I could work with children with special needs and enrich their lives through theater and then be a working actor, I think I would feel like a superhero. If that isn’t possible, then I want to be the best me that I can be. It sounds cliché, but I did just graduate and I’m being launched into the ‘real’ world.”

For good luck: “I don’t have any permanent rituals. Currently in ‘Into the Woods’ I jump up and down backstage to the rhythm of the music for about a minute before I get into place for my first entrance.”

What people should know: “My next goal is not New York. I want to become a certified sign-language interpreter. I have wanted this since I was about 7 or 8 years old.”

Coming soon: Performing in “Into the Woods” through June 29. She is also part of a company called Speak About It!, which she describes as “a performance-based presentation about consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships. We go on tour at the end of the summer to freshmen orientations at colleges, universities all over the East Coast.”

Links: www.lyricstage.com, www.speakaboutitonline.com

Terry Byrne can be reached at trbyrne@aol.com.
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