Age and Hometown: 10; New York City
Current Role: A tour-de-force off-Broadway debut as Small Alison in the Public Theater’s acclaimed new musical Fun Home.
Dynamic Debut: When Sydney Lucas says brightly, “This is my first off-Broadway show,” a jaded theatergoer’s first reaction is disbelief. Lucas carries huge chunks of Fun Home on her tiny shoulders as the youngest incarnation of Alison Bechdel, author and artist of the graphic memoir on which the show is based. Lucas is part of seven production numbers, gleefully leading a mock commercial in which she bounces in and out of the coffins in the Bechdel family funeral home. “At first I thought it was very adult,” she says of the show, in which the older version of her character comes out and clashes with Alison’s closeted father. “After a few months, I started to grasp the story, and I’m really proud to be part of it. It means so much to lesbians everywhere, and it’s a story that needed to be told. It’s important to accept people for who they are.”
Super Sibs: Talent runs in the Lucas family: Sydney’s 11-year-old brother, Jake, is starring as Ralphie in A Christmas Story at Madison Square Garden, and eldest brother Brock, 16, pursues music. The young actress launched her career at age five with a voiceover in the movie Team Umizoomi and has been busy ever since. “I’ve been home-schooled since first grade,” Lucas explains, “and I like it because it’s flexible. You have to go to bed late after a show, so it would be difficult to get up and go to school.” Not that this dynamo has trouble juggling rehearsals, performances, auditions, homework and her hobby of watching funny videos on YouTube. “I have a lot of energy,” she says.
An Actress for Life: Before landing Fun Home, Lucas filmed the upcoming film comedy Squirrels to the Nuts with Jennifer Aniston and played the young version of Kristen Wiig’s character in two movies (Girl Most Likely and the upcoming The Skeleton Twins). Her favorite movie gig was playing “this very prissy, prim and proper rich girl” in the short film Fools Day, which has made the film festival rounds. “I love to play roles that are really different from me,” she says. And she has no doubt she’ll continue working on stage and screen for years to come. “People ask me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’” Lucas says, “and I tell them, ‘I’m already doing it. I can’t change!”