KENT  From the rags and riff-raff of an Agrabah urchin to the royal regalia in the Sultan’s palace, Green Middle School eighth-grader Brett Anderson acted, sang and danced on the historic Kent Stage the weekend of Jan. 26-28 as the lead in "Aladdin, Jr." The play, a reimagining of the Disney classic, was put on by Children’s Musical Theater of Kent and Kent Parks and Recreation and featured kids of all ages from many schools. It was directed by Diane Dudek, Kim Pischera and Heather Eaken.

Playing a fish in "The Little Mermaid" as a second-grader was Anderson’s introduction to acting and his roles have only been increasing in prominence since. Anderson has attended Green Local Schools since third grade and has been growing as a performer in theatrical productions at the schools through the years. His most recent role was that of the villainous Lord Farquaad in Green Middle School Musical Theater’s retelling of the family-favorite comedy "Shrek."

With the sinister silliness of Farquaad under his belt, Anderson was ready to take on the role of a story’s hero who’s a bit more serious. The role of Aladdin was his first performance outside a school production, and the process from audition to curtain close exposed Anderson to aspects of the performance world he had not yet experienced.

"It was really fun performing at the Kent Stage because it was different than the stage at my school," said Anderson. "I got to meet a lot of new people who were very nice to me. My directors helped me a lot, and taught me how to be a better actor in so many ways! I made new friends, so I always looked forward to going to practice."

In the wake of the "Aladdin Jr.," Anderson still has a busy schedule and plans to continue to hone his performing skill and keep improving and working hard at sports and his schooling as well.

"Right now, I'm going to get back to my goalie training since I play soccer. I'm going to continue my voice lessons with my amazing voice coach Ralena Dalheimer, since I can always improve," said Anderson. "I'll also be trying out for the next play at Green Middle School, and having fun with my other eighth grade classmates."

After a successful three-night run of "Aladdin Jr." and with another GMS play on the horizon, Anderson is making out to be a burgeoning performance artist. We can be sure to see him back on the Kent Stage soon. He sure plans on it.

"I'm looking forward to performing with this same group at the Kent Stage again. I'm not sure what it will be ... but I'm ready to give it my all."