When 11-year-old Wyatt Peters of Kingsport first strapped on his acting boots at the ripe old age of 4 for “Charlotte’s Web,” he was embarking on a journey that would take him to roles of which he thought he could only dream. The Holston Middle School sixth-grader recently won the role of Winnie the Pooh for Kingsport Theatre Guild’s production which begins in February. This is Wyatt’s eighth role with KTG, an organization that has helped him grow as a young professional.
“I always loved movies,” Wyatt explained, “and movies are just plays in front of cameras.” Balancing his schoolwork along with Scouts and theatre can be challenging but Wyatt accepts the challenge and marches on toward a successful career. “Wyatt has taken theatre camps with KTG that have really helped him grow,” added his mother Christy, who also takes many active roles with KTG. In fact, theatre is a family affair for the Peters family with dad helping them rehearse lines and ushering at the performances.
Wyatt rehearses from three to five days per week depending on the type of play in which he’s involved. For a musical he’s required to attend stage practice as well as dance rehearsals and music rehearsals. What makes being in a play satisfying for Wyatt? “I enjoy making people happy and when I say a line that makes the audience laugh, I know that I’ve delivered that line just right,” he said with a smile.
Wyatt recently auditioned for the lead role in Winnie the Pooh. “I have a love for theatre and Disney,” he said, “and when those two collide I have to be involved.”
It’s a grueling process that requires the young actor to prepare a monologue and perform a song. Wyatt chose the song “Heffalumps and Woozles” which was first featured in Walt Disney’s 1968 film “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.”
“Wyatt is amazing to work with,” said Alaska Vance who is directing the KTG production of “Winnie the Pooh.” “He’s overflowing with creativity and enthusiasm. He just makes me smile.”
On Wyatt’s You Tube Channel, WyattPlayzGaming, viewers can see backstage action with the cast and crew of “A Christmas Story,” a recent production of KTG. This young actor with an entrepreneurial touch has visited and loved productions at The Barter in Abingdon and plans a trip with his family this October to see a Broadway play in New York. From his trip to Broadway, Wyatt hopes to “learn how to become just a little better and to gather tips about how to be more professional with my acting career.”
KTG did the first production of “Winnie the Pooh” in October of 1959 and when executive director Tina Radtke began looking for throwback shows to do, she was drawn to this one.
“It’s a classic story and has family-friendly appeal,” Tina shared. “It also features a large cast of children which provides ample opportunity for kids to experience the stage for the first time.”
“Winnie the Pooh” will be presented by the Kingsport Theatre Guild, Feb. 9-18, with a special presentation for area schools and homeschoolers on Feb. 16.