Lynn resident Matt Steriti is ready to take the next step in his budding career as an actor/vocalist with his appearance in the Boston Children’s Theatre (BCT) production of the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening that hits the stage August 4-7 at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield.
Steriti, a 15-year-old sophomore at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, has been rehearsing for the past five weeks for his dual roles as Schmidt in the cast and as a school kid in the musical/dance ensemble.
“I’m on stage for six songs and have one scene and one finale number as Schmidt,” said Steriti, a graduate of Our Lady of Assumption School in Lynnfield and honor roll student at St. John’s Prep.
It was at OLA where Steriti started to catch the acting bug, making his debut in the sixth grade as Linus in “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. He appeared in a second play, “Bye Bye Birdie” and a revue, “Prunk Tunes.”
Steriti has stepped up his dramatic pursuits at St. John’s Prep where he has taken drama classes under the direction of teacher Alicia Greenwood. He has also studied acting for three years in the BCT summer program led by Burgess Clark.
He’s excited about “Spring Awakening,” saying he and his fellow cast member have worked hard in rehearsals.
“We spend half of day in the summer program rehearsing for the show and the other half we take acting, music, and dance classes,” said Steriti, who has taken one year of vocal training lessons from Daniel Blake. He has also taken tap lessons from Gene Murray at a Salem studio.
Confident in his growing talents, Steriti is considering a potential career in the dramatic arts.
“I would like to make a career of this but I’m still in the process of deciding,” said Steriti who cites Johnny Depp as his favorite actor. “I’m going to take acting classes at St. John’s and on top of that I’m moving to a new dance studio to take tap, jazz, and ballet. And I want to start voice lessons again. I think I’m best at dancing.”
Though his dance moves require flexibility, stamina and athleticism, he has moved away from sports to focus on drama.
“I tried sports but I was never good at that,” said Matt.
Steriti expects some of his friends at St. John’s to attend the BCT production this weekend. His parents, John and Kristen, will be on hand for his performances with BCT. He also has three sisters and two brothers.
“My younger siblings won’t be attending the play because the play has some very mature material,” said Matt.
Steriti’s acting is becoming well polished and poised, but he does admit to some pre-performance butterflies.
“Right before I go on stage, I get very nervous and get a rush of adrenaline, but right when I get on stage, I feel right at home and it’s easy,” said Steriti.
He said he’s made a lot of new friends through his involvement in theater.
“What I’ve liked most about acting is being in the shows but I also like meeting all the new people in theater. Everyone who works in the show is so nice and friendly. I’ve become such good friends with so many people through all these shows.”