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At 10, Haven Pereira has Broadway in her sights

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Age: 10

Hometown: Winthrop

Think of: Haven offers a surprising comparison, given the 30-plus-years age difference: Lesli Margherita, who plays Mrs. Wormwood in “Matilda” on Broadway. The young actress sees herself in her older counterpart, she says, because “we have the same personality, because she’s goofy and crazy.”

What caught our eye: Haven is currently playing the role of Young Fiona in North Shore Music Theatre’s “Shrek the Musical.” Previously she performed in “Gypsy” at NextDoor Theatre in Winchester, “Miracle on 34th Street” at Stoneham Theatre, and “The Sound of Music” at North Shore, among other productions.

Light bulb moment: She realized she wanted to devote her life to acting “when I did little stuff in Winthrop. I did ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘101 Dalmatians.’ I auditioned for Sally Brown [and got the part, in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’] and I had so much fun.”


Biggest thrill: “It was probably in ‘Charlie Brown’ when I sang ‘My New Philosophy’ for my solo. I had one moment where I thought, Ahh, this is what it is. This is where I want to be.”

Biggest surprise: In “Gypsy,” while playing Baby June, “I was twirling my baton, and I had this enormous wig, and my baton stuck in one of the curls,” said Haven, with a laugh. But she says the audience may not have noticed her embarrassment. “It was supposed to be a cheesy, bad act, so it kind of went along with the act.”

Inspired by: “The kids on Broadway, knowing that they’re on Broadway really inspires me to push harder. It gives me a fire.”

Aspires to: A career in musical theater on Broadway. “My dream role would have to be in ‘Matilda,’ like Amanda.” Another role she’d like to play: older Fiona in “Shrek.” “She’s not a regular princess, she’s spunky, and she gets a mood to her that’s feisty.”


For good luck: She doesn’t rely on luck, but she does have a basic routine to prep herself before going onstage. “I do warm-ups in the car, I sing to songs on the radio. I’m pretty sure I hurt my mom’s ears when she’s driving. She’s always like, ‘Haven, if you’re gonna sing, sing it low.’ ”

What people should know: “I’m a big animal lover. I would take every animal to the house if it was possible!” If not for the arts, Haven would love to be a veterinarian. “I like to help animals and people. I like to boost them up, and cheer them up, and I like to be caring and fun.”

Coming soon: After “Shrek” ends its run on July 19, Haven will go to a two-week intensive theater camp, where she can work on her vocal and dance skills. Once summer is over, it’s back to school. Look for her in regional productions, or perhaps singing the national anthem for the Winthrop High School girls’ basketball team.

Link: www.nsmt.org