By Amanda Wolkin

Tucker Weinman dances with lead actress Park Krausen during Georgia Shakespeare’s “Shrew: The Musical.” The cast is responsible for memorizing three shows at once.

Some 8-year-olds dream of becoming astronauts. Others aspire to be scientists. Brookhaven Elementary School third grader Tucker Weinmann wanted to become an actor.

“I still remember my dad coming to me with an advertisement in the paper, promoting these acting classes at the Alliance Theater,” said Weinmann. “He asked if it was something I wanted to try, which I did. After that, I never stopped.”

Weinmann, now 21 and an upcoming senior at Elon University, never gave up on his dream.

He chose to attend Pace Academy for middle and high school because of its strong musical theater program. He made his main stage musical debut his freshman year, when he appeared as a singing and dancing cowboy.

He will receive his Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater, and, as a tribute to his acting versatility, this summer he is participating in one of two internships for college students at Georgia Shakespeare in Brookhaven.

“I saw Tucker at The Southeastern Theater Conference and he stood out because of his musical theater talent,” Producing Artistic Director of Georgia Shakespeare Richard Garner said. “I knew immediately what he could bring to ‘Shrew: The Musical.’ I didn’t realize at the time he was from Brookhaven.

“He’s also a very accomplished classical actor and holds his own next to our company of professional actors in every scene. He’s been a wonderful addition.”

Although he had not performed Shakespeare since his ninth grade performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Weinmann has joined the 16-member Georgia Shakespeare cast to perform three shows this summer: “Shrew: The Musical,” running until August 8, “Love Labour’s Lost,” running until August 6 and “King Lear,” running July 9 until August 7.

Because Georgia Shakespeare does work in repertory, the whole cast is responsible for memorizing and performing three shows at once.

When asked about the intensity of his work schedule, Weinmann laughed and said, “You caught me on my only day off.”

Before “Shrew” began, Weinmann and the cast rehearsed from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.. Now that “Shrew” and “Lost” have begun, they are still in rehearsal for “King Lear” during the day and alternately performing “Shrew” and “Lost” at night, often not leaving until 10:30 p.m..

Despite the long hours, Weinmann finds joy in his job.

“I really like being able to, as my job, set away whatever else is going on in my life and kind of forget about all the stress and be present in the moment.”

– Tucker Weinmann

“I really like being able to, as my job, set away whatever else is going on in my life and kind of forget about all the stress and be present in the moment,” Weinmann said. “It’s an escape for the actors, and it’s also an escape for the audience. I love to look out during ‘Shrew’ and see people having a smile on their face and bobbing their head to the music.”

Now that Weinmann has achieved his third grade dream of becoming an actor, he has moved onto his next goal: moving to New York City to, as he joked, “earn a professional degree in table waiting” and hopefully make it big one day as a professional actor.

“Theater has this great power to heal and reinvigorate people,” Weinmann said. “And that’s something I want to do for the rest of my life.”