Casey Cuinn, a 15-year old freshman at Langley High School in McLean, said that he’s got a lot in common with Evan Goldman, the main character of the Broadway musical “13.”
And that’s good, because Cuinn’s portraying Goldman in the McLean Community Players’ production of Jason Robert Brown’s musical, which opens tomorrow, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m. at the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre.
“I understand what he’s going through,” Cuinn said. “It’s just a really relatable character for me, so it’s a great role to play.”
In the play, Goldman is adjusting to life in small town Indiana, moving there from New York City after his parents’ divorce. Cuinn moved to Northern Virginia from Connecticut during the summer of 2014 with just his mother and siblings, leaving his father back in the tri-state area.
And, possibly most importantly, they’re both in a double transition phase, starting a new school and beginning again in a completely different region of the U.S. from which they came while embarking on a journey through young adulthood. Naturally, these similarities aren’t lost on Cuinn.
“We both lived in the East, not too far from each other,” Cuinn said. “We both moved to a place that we’ve never known anything about. And we didn’t know anyone, so we both had to start off a new foot.”
Cuinn and Goldman are starting off on a new foot with a lot of young adolescents – the cast of “13” is made up entirely of teenagers. “I love that it will bring younger audiences in because for the first time ever, we’d be featuring an all-adolescent cast. There’s not one adult in the cast,” said Laura Dailey, a co-producer of the show and McLean Community Players board member.
“So it brings all these new people into community theater and to our stage and I think that the kids in the next generation are really important part of the McLean community and I’m really excited to highlight that with the show.”
In the show, Goldman adjusts to life in a strange land while coping with the normal pressures of being an adolescent – fitting in, dating, discovering identity and learning how to resolve conflicts.
Jason Robert Brown’s exploration of these themes with nascent young adults as the subjects offers something for nearly everyone. Teenagers who go see the show have the opportunity to relate to something immediate, while adults can reminisce and possibly look back on their own experiences at that age with fresh eyes.
“My experience with the show is that it’s a fun show, it’s a coming-of-age type of show. The music is quite enjoyable,” said director Kevin Sockwell. “And the message that I get from the show is that we all have a little more homework to do. Growing happens for pre-teens, it happens for adults and older adults. We all have things to learn from life and to learn at each step along the way.”
Cuinn agrees with Sockwell that there’s something that everyone could get out of the show, which runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Feb. 15.
“It’s a great show for all ages, it has so many messages,” Cuinn said. “And people should just come see it.”
Tickets for “13” are $23 – $25 with group rates available. For more information, call 703-790-9223 or visit mcleanplayers.org.