A fifth grade pupil from Marlboro will appear in an upcoming production of “The Nerd” at the George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick.
Hayden Bercy, 10, who attends the Marlboro Elementary School, will portray 8-year-old Thor Waldgrave in the show from April 24 through May 20. Hayden will turn 11 on the production’s opening night.
“The Nerd” is a two-act comedy written by Larry Shue that takes place in Terre Haute, Ind., in 1979. The primary characters in the play are Willum Cubbert, Tansy McGinnis, Axel Hammond and Rick Steadman.
Hayden will join Jonathan Kite (Oleg) on TV’s “2 Broke Girls,” Colin Hanlon (Steven) on TV’s “Modern Family” and “Rent” on Broadway, and Ann Harada from “Avenue Q” on Broadway in “The Nerd.”
Speaking about his accomplishments in acting, Hayden said, “When I was 8 years old, I started singing songs at home and really loved it. I auditioned for a show at Rolling Hills Day Camp and got the lead part of Shrek in ‘Shrek the Musical.’ I loved it so much that I started taking acting, singing and voice lessons in New York City.”
Hayden was eventually cast in two productions with Phoenix Productions at the Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, before he was cast as Ben in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in 2016. In 2017, he joined the national tour of “A Christmas Story the Musical” playing the role of Flick.
Hayden said he wants to continue pursuing acting professionally. He said he is in New York City several days a week taking private lessons and group classes, as well as classes in tap dancing, musical theater dance, ballet and voice lessons with an acting coach. The young man said he finds what takes place behind the scenes to be fascinating and has an interest in directing someday.
“The experience (at George Street) has been fantastic because I am working with a super talented Broadway cast. I am the only kid in the show, but everyone treats me like one of the adults. It has also been great to be acting in a comedy. Everyone in the cast is so funny,” Hayden said.
His parents, Jason and Melinda, said, “Hayden is happiest when he is performing and that is what is most important to us. He loves his time in New York City training and he practices at home, too. He has made so many friends through his theater training and performing that it doesn’t always feel like work to him.
“He has a huge interest in Broadway and has already seen about 30 Broadway shows. It’s not unusual for him to be in New York City five days a week for training, rehearsing or auditions, as well as socializing with friends.
“Having said that, we are thrilled he is part of this amazing production only 25 minutes from our home. So far the George Street experience has been wonderful. This stellar cast is a dream cast to be working with,” they said.