By Lindy Keyser

Special to the Press

Fourteen-year-old Henry Malone says that while acting isn’t the only thing, it has an influence on everything.

"Personally, I think everybody should take acting for a year or two because it teaches you these great social and speaking skills that you will need for life," he said.

Malone began acting two years ago and while he has enjoyed participating in school productions at Prosper High School, Shakespeare is his passion. Most recently, he put this passion to work with the Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre in Dallas in their three-month production of "Pericles, the Prince of Tyre."

"I played three different parts, but my main role is as fisherman number two," he said. "He’s a 17-year-old boy who is really a cocky kind of guy."

Malone played the part of a boastful teenager surprisingly well, given his modesty in real life. He was the youngest paid member of the Pericles cast and nothing short of grateful for the experience.

"Shakespeare is so entertaining, even when you’re acting it out on stage," he said. "It’s so elegant; I’d really like to be able to speak like him some day."

In anticipation of delivering Shakespeare’s elegant verse before an audience, Malone has studied extensively. He interned with the Samuell-Grande Amphitheatre last summer during its production of "12th Night," enrolled in an upper level theater production at the high school and studied at Cathryn Sullivan’s acting school.

"The thing I love most about all of the acting I do is being somebody that I’m not," he said. "When you take a role that you’ve seen before and put your own twist on it, that turns the part into something of your creation. It’s like I edited a version of that play."

When he isn’t on stage, Malone stays grounded. He is an active participant in Boy Scouts and anticipates graduating to Eagle Scout sometime this year. His commitment to acting is rivaled by his focus on school, and he is driven to pursue a degree in architecture.

"I started building with big brick Legos when I was four, and then worked my way up to block houses and eventually I finished the Lego Star Wars Death Star," he said. "Now I keep a journal stashed in my desk where I draw anything that pops into my mind."

Needless to say, Malone’s ambitions keep him busy. His final Performance of "Pericles" on Friday night did not mark a break before school start but, rather, the start of his next project.

"I want to talk to the director about joining Shakespeare on the Go," he said. "They take costumes and go to schools in the Dallas Metro Area to teach kids that there is so much more to Shakespeare than what they might think in school. I really want to be a part of that."