JAMES BERNARD

Age 11. Role: Kurt, 11.

The Washington Post Sunday - - THEATER -

James’s twin brother, Daniel, is such a good pitcher that baseball coaches want him for travel teams.

“He throws pretty fast, but I can catch him,” says James, a catcher when­ever he gets to play ball. “When I per­form, some­times I feel ner­vous. But when I’m wear­ing the mask, I feel way more com­fort­able. It’s like I’m wear­ing ar­mor.”

The New Yorker plays drums, clar­inet and vi­o­lin and is learn­ing ukulele. “I also write songs,” he says. “I started that when I was 7. I write rock, pop, and I write in­stru­ment parts for them.” Be­ing in “The Sound of Mu­sic” is a young com­poser’s dream: “Rodgers and Ham­mer­stein’s work is phe­nom­e­nal,” he says.

The tour seems like it’s a blast. “You get to see Amer­ica!” James says. “Ev­ery­where I’ve been has been awesome, but here is my fa­vorite place. The au­di­ences in D.C. are way bet­ter than any other au­di­ences. They’re so en­thu­si­as­tic! They clap dur­ing the over­ture at the be­gin­ning of act 2. That doesn’t hap­pen any­where else. My first per­for­mance here, I kind of got a lit­tle teary-eyed. I was happy. I got this far. I am at the na­tion’s the­ater.”

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