JP kid stars in BCT production

Jamaica Plain actor Samil Battenfeld, 12, will star in Boston Children’s Theatre (BCT) annual production of “The Velveteen Rabbit” starting Dec. 7.

Based on the famous children’s book, “The Velveteen Rabbit” was first performed by BTC during the holiday season four years ago. The performances blend live actors with puppets, including a puppet of the titular character.

“My favorite is interacting with the puppets,” Battenfeld, who plays the human lead, “Boy,” said. “It’s new to me. It’s complicated. It’s easier to react to expressions on people.”

Battenfeld has been acting in community theater since he was 6, after being brought to JP from India by his adoptive parents, he said. He is the first actor of color to play the role for BCT.

“I think that it’s pretty unique that I’m the first,” Battenfeld told the Gazette last week.

“As we do with all our productions, BCT casts actors who are right for each role. Samil was the perfect choice for this role,” BCT spokesperson Julie Arvedon told the Gazette.

“It’s wonderful for him, he loves doing it,” said Mary Battenfeld, Samil’s mother. “I only wish the public education system did more of that kind of activity. We’re lucky he can do that outside of school.”

“It’s a great way to meet new people. I really like that about theater,” Samil Battenfeld said.

“The Velveteen Rabbit” runs Dec. 7-22 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. For more information, see

Samil Battenfeld rehearses with the rabbit in “The Velveteen Rabbit.” (Courtesy Photo)

Samil Battenfeld rehearses with the rabbit in “The Velveteen Rabbit.” (Courtesy Photo)

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