Azul Montiel performs in ‘Matilda’

In the Middle

Many people have a hobby that they can’t live without. For some people it is soccer, while for others it is swimming. Some students have less common hobbies like music-making and dirt biking. For seventh-grader Azul Montiel, it is theater.

Recently, Azul has been very active in theater outside of school. This year she was in the musical “Matilda” as part of the ensemble where she did a lot of dancing and acting.

“Matilda” is a musical based on the novel by Roald Dahl, about a bright girl growing up in a family who doesn’t appreciate her gift. All of the adult figures in her life are cruel to her and her friends—all of them except her teacher. Soon, she discovers her powers of telekinesis and uses the powers for revenge on her tormentors. Azul said she enjoyed the plot of this story because it was fun to act out.

Performing in musicals takes time and effort that most people don’t have. Azul has been rehearsing for this musical since the beginning of the school year, and she has been dancing for much longer. Despite the length of time needed to learn her part, Azul believed the effort was worth it. To rehearse for “Matilda,” Azul spent at least four days a week practicing with the cast. “It was hard work but really fun.” she said. “I would do it again.”

Being a part of “Matilda” was a great experience for Azul. She loved spending time with her new friends and pretending to be someone that she wasn’t. “It’s really fun for people who like being on stage whether they like a big part or a small part,” she said.

The musical experience was enjoyable not only for the cast, but also for the audience members. Theater-goers loved the performance and were immediately hooked, especially seventh-grader Rachael Lantner. “Azul did great in the play; it was awesome,” she said.

West Hartford and surrounding towns have theater groups that people who are interested can join. Even though acting in a musical takes a lot of effort, it is a lot of fun to make new friends and perform for an audience.