Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee William’s Pulitzer-Prize winning play, opens at Baltimore Center Stage on Wednesday. And while it’s definitely a play for ‘grown-ups,’ three local kids in the performance are making their Center Stage debuts — and might just steal the show.

“I like how we make the audience feel emotion. Sadness, and like humor, and make them happy,” said Leo Manni, 9, a student at Tunbridge Public Charter School in Baltimore City. 

Although all three kids aren’t new to acting, this is their first performance in a mainstage performance at Center Stage. They’ve been surprised by how “amazing” the adult actors are in the show — and how quickly they’ve had to think on their feet working with director Judith Ivey.

It’s not all work and no play. When Leo isn’t on stage, he’s reading or drawing, participating in the TWIGS program at Baltimore School for the Arts, or trying to get as much sleep as he can. Nina Brothers, who plays Dixie, loves horseback riding and hanging out her community pool. Castmate Jack St. Pierre, who plays Sonny, likes to play with his friends outside.

The play, which deals with very adult themes of morality, greed, and desire as a Southern family comes together for a celebration and starts to crack under pressure, is most suitable for high-school-aged audiences and up. But the young stars definitely have their favorite moments.

“My favorite part is the introduction,” said Nina, 9, and a student at The Mount Washington School. “Because I get to put lipstick all over my face!”

Nine-year-old Jack, who is homeschooled, agrees. The introduction is definitely one of the best parts of the play. It involves a lot of choreography (but it’s not THAT hard, said Leo).

What do these young actors hope adults take away from the show?

“I hope they remember the whole show. I hope that they remember Center Stage. And I want them to walk out of the theatre saying wow, that was an amazing show!” said Nina. 

And they’ll definitely remember the “no-neck monsters,” said Jack.

Looking for a great date night? Check out Cat On a Hot Tin Roof at Center Stage! The play runs September 13 – October 14.