Jake Flynn’s mother was a soccer and softball standout at the University of Maine and one of the greatest softball players in Bishop Fenwick High School history, starring on four consecutive Division 1 state championship teams in the early 1990s.
And just to show what a versatile perfomer she was, Mary Wells Flynn would sing the National Anthem before State Tournament softball games in front of large crowds. Some say it was majestic coach Bud Henry’s way of unnerving Fenwick opponents before the first pitch was thrown. Whatever the case, it worked flawlessly as Mary Wells and her Fenwick castmates, including fellow Lynn resident Colleen Parker, never lost a state tournament game.
Jake Flynn’s father is also an athlete of imposing skills. After a stellar three-sport high school career, Mike Flynn played football at Maine where he met his future wife, Mary Wells. Mike Flynn continued his career in the National Football League and later played on the biggest stage of them all, the Super Bowl. Flynn excelled as a starting offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens who won the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. He is becoming well known in the Boston market as an erudite and engaging radio and television sports personality.
While eight-year-old Jake Flynn has demonstrated his affinity for sports in flag football and baseball – where he sang the National Anthem on Hamilton-Wenham Little League Opening Day this season – the oldest of Mike and Mary Flynn’s four sons is taking his first big step in another arena: the dramatic arts. The young thespian will appear as Tiny Tim in the North Shore Music Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol” that opens Friday night in Beverly.
It’s been an exciting time in the Flynn household as Jake attends daily rehearsals in preparation for the show that runs through Dec. 21.
Jake earned the role after an audition at the theater. He has appeared in Neverland Theatre’s productions and in a couple of television commercials, but this will be his first appearance on stage at Bill Haney’s popular theater-in-the-round.
“I saw that “A Christmas Carol” was having open auditions for children’s roles,” said Mary. “There were hundreds of kids there. Jake went in and sang a song and then read some lines. He went through the dance portion of the audition and two days later they emailed us that they wanted to offer him the role of Tiny Tim. Jake was beyond excited. He was thrilled.”
The instant theatrical success has prompted Jake to re-evaluate his athletic pursuits.
“I think he’s going to retire – he told me he’s not going to graduate from baseball,” said Mary. “He’s played flag football the past couple of years and he does like that, but he’s definitely a theater guy.”
Mary said her son’s experience at NSMT has been just grand. Jake is thriving in the cast of 29 that includes legendary NSMT actor David Coffee, who returns as Ebenezer Scrooge.
“Jake is having the best time of his life, the best experience,” said Mary. “He’s so happy. Right now they’re going through the tech process and the rehearsals have been running all day. But he can’t wait to get back to the theater each day.”
The talented second grader, who also plays Little Ebenezer in the show, said he’s having a great time as a member of the cast.
“I’m having so much fun,” said Jake. “I’m ready for the show. I met Mr. Coffee and he’s really great. I like being on stage.”
Also enjoying the whole NSMT experience are Jake’s proud grandparents, retired Lynn dentist Dr. Kevin Wells, who is a soccer referee and softball umpire, Jean Wells, Michael Flynn and Kathleen Flynn.