NEWINGTON - You think your workload is heavy. Imagine trying to balance it on your back in the fifth grade.
Ten-year-old Amelia Lopa just took on her first real job - and it’s a fun, busy one.
The Martin Kellogg Middle School student is playing Belinda Cratchit in “A Christmas Carol” at Hartford Stage all this December.
“This is my first professional show,” she said during a short break between rehearsals, school and performing.
Amelia started acting at age 5 with the Newington Children’s Theatre Company, where she played Pumbaa in “The Lion King Jr.” and Gingy in “Shrek the Musical Jr.”
She is also a member of CAST in Manchester, LAMB Theatricals and the Alyce Carella Dance Center. Her resume features 25 productions over the last five years.
She credits this experience in youth theater as prime training for her first big show.
“It’s definitely prepared me for this and more to come,” Amelia explained. “The Hartford Stage is a lot different. I’m hoping to keep doing professional theatre because I’ve really enjoyed it so far and all the grownups are really nice to me.”
Middle school is far from finished and high school will be a whole new adventure. Still, Amelia has her sights set on the brightest lights in show business.
“I want to be on Broadway when I grow up,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll get there.”
Over the summer, she attended her first Broadway show, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
This fall, she’s also playing Tessie in her school’s performance of “Annie.”
So how does she balance it all?
“It’s very fun,” Amelia added. “I like a busy schedule.”
Having a supportive family is also important. Amelia’s includes her mother and father, Mark and Kerri, her twin brother Sam and their dog Reilly.
The group attended opening night of “A Christmas Carol” along with her grandparents.
“We couldn’t believe it when we saw her on stage at that award-winning theater,” Mark said. “It seemed like she belonged there.”
With Christmas fast approaching, the Lopas have decorated their tree and are building a gingerbread house.
“I love the magic of it,” Amelia said of the holiday. “I love spending time with my family.”
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.