WHO'S WHO IN '13, THE MUSICAL'....FELIPE ROCHA AND WYATT MCMANUS

The Media Music Theatre Company (MMTC) in Media, PA and The Wilmington Drama League in Wilmington, DE have partnered to bring Jason Robert Brown’s high-energy “13,The Musical” to Media for two weekends May 30 – June 8. 

The production features thirteen talented actors from the Delaware and Pennsylvania areas who have found a unique kinship performing this entertaining and insightful musical together.  In the fifth of this blog series, Felipe Rocha and Wyatt McManus share their experiences with the musical and cast. Both are embracing life as teenagers and all this unique time has to offer.
WYATT MCMANUS
“It’s mostly exciting, at times scary, and occasionally intimidating,”  said McManus.  “I have older siblings I’ve watched go through the same things that I’m going through so at least I have their examples to learn from.” He’s had a lot of examples to follow with a total of 12 siblings to cheer him on and keep him humble.   
 Rocha also relies on support from his friends, parents, and sister. “Being a teenager can be the hardest, yet best thing to be,” he said.  “We are at an age where we are too old to be kids and too young to be adults.  However it is great to know we have friends and family who can walk with us on the journey.”

It’s a journey everyone takes, so that’s why they both feel “13 The Musical” has so much to offer audiences of all ages.

McManus, who plays Brett’s pal Eddie, believes everyone will find something to love. “I think everyone can identify with these characters,” he explained.  “A younger person will enjoy the humor in situations that they encounter almost every day. More mature audience members will enjoy having their memory stirred back to the days when they were going through similar situations.”
FELIPE ROCHA 
Rocha agrees. “The musical opens the audience to the world of a teenager’s mind,” he stated. “It’s all about how we relate to the trials and tribulations 
of reaching goals.”

Rocha, who plays bully Brett, identifies with some of the themes personally.  He, like the protagonist Evan Goldman, made a big move as a child from Brazil to the United States. “I had to go through a big transition too,” he recalled.  “This experience has shown me the value of true friendship and to accept others as they are and not for what they can bring to the table.”

The actors are thankful for the friendships they’ve made while doing the musical, first in Delaware, and now in Media.

Rocha is not only an actor, but an artist and athlete as well.  He has relished the opportunity to perform with this cast. “This musical has inspired me to pursue friendships in all groups.  Whether in school, sports or theatre, I’ve learned to realize every one has unique value.   It’s brought me closer to a new group of friends that I treasure and love over many things!”

For McManus, who is home schooled and performs in his home school theatre company as well as in stage, film and tv projects, it has also reinforced he’s on this journey with others like him. 
“Being in this show has made me aware that other kids are going through similar situations as I am and it made me more comfortable with that.  It made me realize that I am not alone.”

With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, the writer of Broadway’s current “Bridges of Madison County” as well as “Parade” and “The Last Five Years” among others, “13” is a poignant musical for all ages about discovering that cool is where you find it, and sometimes where you least expect it.  The show boasts a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Lyrics and tells the story of Evan Goldman, who is having a great life…until his parents get divorced and he’s forced to move with his Mom from NYC to Indiana!  The show features a cast of teens portraying 13-year-old characters dealing with the perils of middle school. This high-energy show was Broadway’s first all-teenage cast, and has many humorous and touching moments.


For tickets to "13 The Musical" at The Media Theatre May 30 – June 8, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org.


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