During his spare time, the average 9-year-old boy likes doing things like playing video games, fishing and bike riding. Bowie youth Maxwell Balay likes those things as well—but he also loves to act.
Last week, Balay, a fourth-grader at Robert Goddard French Immersion, had his stage debut with Shakespeare Theatre Company as Indian prince changeling in the current production, Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“I’ve been in a few school plays, but this is my first major play,” Balay said.
He directed a French play at Robert Goddard, and also had a role in an Earth Day production where he played a tree frog. In addition to his theater experience, Balay also has been in several commercials and holds national and regional titles for competitive dance.
Working with Shakespeare Theatre has been a very different experience for Balay compared to the plays he was in at school.
“It’s in old English, and there’s lighting and special effects that you don’t usually have at school and better props and better costumes and better actors,” Balay said.
In his current role as an Indian prince changeling, Balay has been rehearsing every day of the week but Mondays since October. His family has been very supportive of his acting career, even given the rigorous rehearsal schedule.
“He’s working with famous director and famous actors from all over America,” said Balay’s mother, Cassandra Nesmith.
Even though is current rehearsal schedule keeps Balay pretty busy, he still enjoys drawing, riding his bike and making origami.
Balay said he enjoys acting and hopes to get more and better roles in the future, but when he grows up he hopes to be a pilot or an electrical engineer.
If you’d like to see Balay in his current production, Midsummer Night’s Dream is scheduled to run through December 30. You can buy tickets on online here.