At Home on Stage

Preetish Chakraborty has always loved singing. His mother said he’s been singing since before he could talk, even appearing in a Indian show similar to American Idol and taking third place.

But it came as a surprise to his parents when the eighth grader wanted to get involved in acting.

“[We] never thought of acting or musicals. It was all about singing,” Preetish’s mother Mahua Chakraborty said.

They decided to get Preetish an agent, leading him to his part as John in Victory Gardens Theater’s production of “Fun Home.”

“It’s that feeling that you can act like it’s your own life, and it’s you that you’re saying it, but it’s a different character. But it’s you that’s portraying that character. I think that’s what I really love about acting,” Preetish said.

Preetish has fun in “Fun Home,” but the show has a more serious tone.

Fun home is based on the 2006 graphic novel by Alison Bechdel about her discovery of her identity as a lesbian, her relationship with her gay father, and her life growing up with her family in a funeral home.

But Preetish’s parents say the mature theme of the show is actually a learning opportunity for Preetish.

“In today’s age kids get exposed to all these things at a very early age, and I think that’s good because it allows them the opportunity to grasp it, understand it, talk about it, and not hide behind the closet,” said Preetish’s father Pratik.

This role has given Preetish ideas about acting in the future.

“Being Aladdin would be always so cool,” he said.

But his parents say their hopes are much simpler.

“I want him to be a good human being. I want him to do something that he really craves to do, is passionate about,” said Pratik.

“Fun Home” will be playing at Victory Gardens Theater through November 19.

Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.

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