A! Magazine for the Arts

Lucas Patterson performs in "The Music Man."

Lucas Patterson performs in "The Music Man."

Arts for Youth: Lucas Patterson has fun on stage

September 26, 2017

Lucas Patterson is having fun playing Winthrop Paroo (Marian's shy, lisping brother) in Barter Theater's production of "The Music Man."

"It's crazy. It's like nonstop singing and dancing and chasing. The chase scene is my favorite part. Professor Harold Hill is my favorite character besides Winthrop. I get to play a shy kid – me," says the outgoing Lucas.

Lucas started acting with Barter Youth right after his family moved to Abingdon. "I love Barter Youth Academy," he says. "I've only missed three sessions and two of those were because I was doing other Barter shows."

He's been in shows on Barter Theatre's Gilliam Stage and Barter Stage II and the Paramount Center for the Arts, Bristol, Tenn.

"I really love being on stage, but I'll sing a song for the people in the bank, the grocery store or at Luke's Cafe, my favorite restaurant, if they ask me to. I just love the chance to get to entertain people and to get to be different characters. Rehearsal is my favorite part.

"It's so much fun. You get to do loads of funny stuff - on purpose. And we get to play games in the green room and walk through tunnels and secret places back stage when it's time for your next scene. We have a kid wrangler that keeps up with all of us. Boy, does she have to work hard. I have friends through and through. Some of them are kids my age and some of them are grown-up kids. We rely on each other - on the person beside you, on the person who makes your costume, on everybody, but we all want each other to do well. We all cheer each other on. Even if you're not having the best day, you know they'll get you through it," he says.

Lucas says he remembers when he learned to love the stage. "It was the first time I made the whole audience laugh. I bowed to the judge during the courtroom scene of "Miracle on 34th Street.' It just made me feel so great that I could do that. I had always loved to sing and act things out just for me, but after I found out I could make other people laugh and have fun watching me, I thought, "Yep. I want to be on this stage. This is fun.'"

His influences are his Barter Youth Academy teachers and says everyone he's been on stage with have taught him something. "Rick Rose teaches me a lot. He helped me really understand how to feel the same emotion my character is feeling. He's really funny, if he needs you to project more. When he projects his voice, let me tell you, you're going to remember how to project yours," he says.

Lucas enjoys working with his friends to create a play and prefers comedies and musicals. "I just become the person or thing, I was Wilbur the pig once."

When he grows up, he wants to act and get into motion capture acting, voice acting and creating video games. Lucas is a third grader at Watauga Elementary School and lives in Abingdon. He is the 9-year-old son of Dr. and Mrs. John and Shelia Patterson.

"I'm really glad my parents let me do this. I think if kids like something, it's really a good thing if their parents and family let them do it and cheer them on," he says.

Lucas shares the role of Winthrop Paroo with Parker Collins.