Meghan Pratt

Jane Eyre

Meet Meghan Pratt, the youngest cast member of Jane Eyre

By Theresa M. MacNaughton, Communications Associate

Portraying different characters and sharing their emotions on stage are just a few of the things Meghan Pratt loves about acting. The eleven-year-old has been building an impressive resume of roles, including Belinda Cratchit in A Christmas Carol–A Ghost Story of Christmas and the voice of Daisy Armstrong in Murder on the Orient Express at Hartford Stage; the title role in Matilda the Musical at the Thomaston Opera House; and Nipper in Oliver! at the Goodspeed Opera House. This month, Meghan returns to Hartford Stage to play Young Jane and Adèle in Elizabeth Williamson’s stage adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic gothic novel Jane Eyre.

Meghan read Williamson’s script (“its deep!”) in it’s entirety and has enjoyed exploring her two different characters in the play. “I like how Young Jane has a thick skin, and she’s not someone to mess with because if you try to hurt her it’s going to come right back at you,” she said. “For Adèle, I like how she’s silly and fun. It’s going to be fun for me to say lines in French; and  I like how I’m doing a French accent, which challenges my brain more.” Meghan is also excited that she’ll have custom-made wigs and dresses for Jane Eyre. “I had a fitting, and it was really cool how they were building the costume on me,” she remarked.

“Meghan was the child who would physically turn your head to look at her and wait to speak until she had everyone’s attention,” said Erin Pratt, Meghan’s mother. She recalls Meghan fearlessly singing solos at her church at just four years of age. But it was when Erin signed Meghan up with local children’s theatres that she noticed her daughter blossoming as a performer. “We saw an ad for a production company needing a young girl for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, so she auditioned and got the part. Meghan impressed me and her cast mates with her ability to memorize the entire script.”

While she’s also done television and film, Meghan prefers theatre “because it’s not just scene after scene that’s recorded and done. In theatre, you get to go through the whole show. If there’s an incident, and something happens, then sometimes you have to improvise and that can be exciting.” She particularly enjoys challenging roles and cites Matilda as one of her personal favorites. Megan recently performed in A Christmas CarolA Ghost Story of Christmas at Hartford Stage for her third season. In addition to the fun she has backstage playing games and hanging out with friends in the cast, she loves “the glitter and the snow that falls from the ceiling because it makes the show realistic.”

Meghan also understudied the role of Daisy Armstrong in Murder on the Orient Express in 2018 at Hartford Stage. She initially wasn’t sure what an understudy was but knew that it would be a great professional experience. “I did learn some things about theatre like what a body double is and what a voice-over is,” she said. “Even though I wasn’t the girl who was on stage, it was always my voice in the show, since the part was a recorded track and they decided to use my voice. That was pretty neat!”

Erin Pratt is proud of the growth Meghan has shown as a performer. “She diligently learns lines and songs and works hard to do her best. She amazes me when I see her walk into an audition or go onstage without a bit of nervousness,” she said. “I’m also proud when she’s not selected for something and how she handles that with ease. Just seeing your child doing something that makes them happy is a parent’s hope. The icing is that she’s been fortunate, thus far, in being successful.

That pride is evident as Meghan prepares for Jane Eyre. “It’s always my hope that she has fun, that she learns something new, and that she remains professional while still being a regular kid. On breaks in rehearsal, she colors. At home, she plays with her dolls and her new rescue dog Jasmine,” Erin said. “We treat each opportunity as a blessing, as there are no guarantees she’ll be selected for anything ever again. She knows to be grateful and enjoy the moment.”

Meghan Pratt
Meghan Pratt with the Jane Eyre script. Photo by Erin Pratt.
Meghan Pratt with the 'Jane Eyre' script. Photo by Erin Pratt.
Meghan Pratt (center, front) with her Christmas Carol cast members. Photo by Erin Pratt.
Meghan Pratt (center, front) with her 'Christmas Carol' cast members. Photo by Erin Pratt.
Meghan Pratt in her Murder on the Orient Express costume. Photo by Erin Pratt.
Meghan Pratt in her 'Murder on the Orient Express' costume. Photo by Erin Pratt.