By Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter
Someone recently asked nine-year-old Zoe Carter why she didn’t get stage fright. She told them it was because she started acting before she even knew that being in front of an audience was supposed to be scary.
The fourth grader at Rice Lake Elementary School in Maple Grove has been hooked on theater since she was four. She’s currently playing the part of a Snow Fairy in “The Mitten,” playing now at Stages Theatre in Hopkins.
“Snow Fairies, like, tell the story, pretty much. And they help the animals find the mitten,” Carter explained.
The play is based on the beloved children’s book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett.
Zoe first became enamored of the theater when her parents took her to see a production of Seussical the Musical when she was four.
Her mother, Danielle Carter, recalled, “She saw kids up there and she said, ‘Mom, I’m going to do that.’ I said, ‘Well, we’ll see if there’s an audition.’ I thought she’d forget about it. But she asked every week for a year. Here she is, this little girl, and it got to a point where we had to do something because she had her heart set on it.”
Zoe got her first part in the Cross Community Players production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” when she was five. She’s been acting all over the Twin Cities area ever since.
Her parents are happy with the skills the theater has given her. They say that she’s an outgoing and confident child. She is also good at making school her first priority, even when rehearsals and performances take up so much of her time.
Zoe is currently involved in two other productions. She just started rehearsals for her role as a fairy in “Peter Pan” with the Morris Park Players in Minneapolis. She also has a part in her school’s production of School House Rocks Junior.
When Zoe looks into her future, she sees a stage. Her dream is to move to New York and perform on Broadway.
Danielle grew up in New York and knew she wanted to move to the Midwest. She says that her mother finds it funny that her daughter wants to move back to New York.
But Zoe doesn’t see it that way. She sees herself doing what she loves.
“I just love to act and sing and dance. That’s a really big theater so that’s what I want to do,” she said.
The Mitten is currently running at Stages Theatre through Feb. 17. For more information, visit www.stagestheatre.org.