Hudson High School student finds her calling on stage     


By Douglas Maxwell Myer, Contributing Writer

Maya Levine as Berthe in “Pippin”
Photo/Andy Levine

Hudson – In the few years since moving from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, Maya Levine has already made her mark in Hudson High School’s theater productions, particularly in comedic roles.

Her acting abilities have left a great impression on the school’s theater director, Kathleen McKenzie.

“She has a passion for learning unlike anything that I have ever seen before,” McKenzie said. “This passion forces others to work harder and grow artistically as well.”

During the fall of 2015, Levine’s start to her freshman year proved to be rather difficult as a new student in school.

Levine had experience acting in school and community theatre and felt that would be a good way to make friends and fit in. She auditioned and was cast in the eighth- and ninth-grade show, “Anne of Green Gables.” Ever since then she has been part of almost every theater production at Hudson High School and has found great friendships with classmates along the way.

Levine is now a junior and has been incredibly productive on stage. She has taken Drama I and II, performing in various roles, and was also able to work backstage in plays to learn what goes on behind the scenes. But Maya’s activities in theater have extended well beyond that.

“In the school’s Improv Troupe, we play a variety of improv games,” said Levine. “All of the games are motivated by an audience suggestion that influences characters or the conflict in a scene. It’s a two-hour show with my friends and myself making complete fools out of ourselves, and I think we get the biggest kick out of it. I guess other people enjoy it, too, since they’re always coming back.”

During this school year, Levine played Reverend Sprague in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”  and had the opportunity to act with her brother on stage who played Tom. She also performed the role of Berthe in “Pippin.”

“With ‘Pippin,’ that was my first role as a featured character in high school musical, so it was a huge milestone in my theater career,” noted Levine. “The most insane, but memorable, part of the role was being asked to do a flip during the song. I am the least flexible and gymnastics-oriented person I know, so the fact that the flip worked out every night was amazing and a miracle.”

From March 9-11, Hudson High School performed the musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” in which Levine  played Mrs. MacAfee.

“After reading through Mrs. MacAfee’s lines the first time, two words came to my head: nervous wreck,” said Levine. “She is the stereotypical 1950’s housewife that always prioritizes her family. I’ve played many maternal characters in the past, but Mrs. MacAfee is totally different though because the other maternal figures have been very confident in themselves, and Mrs. MacAfee isn’t. I have practiced many sad and anxious facial expressions in the mirror as a result.”

With the remainder of her theatre career at Hudson High there is no doubt that she will continue exhilarating audience members on stage.

“I love entertaining people,” said Levine. “After a day’s work, people usually want a release, and they choose to see me as that release, so I better make it worth it. It’s a win-win scenario – I get to make the audience happy by doing something that makes me happy.”