Yemurai makes her Debut in August Wilson’s “Fences” as Raynell.

Actors usually loosen up before stepping onstage. Meditation, deep breathing, stretching, rehearsing lines, the list goes on.One young actress making her stage debut in “Fences” at Syracuse Stage has set her priorities.

“I brush my teeth and dance,” says Yemurai Tewogbola, of Syracuse, who turned 7 on Thursday.

“Dancing takes one-half of my energy out. I only need one-half of my energy.”

Yemurai has a long wait before she enters onstage near the play’s end. She portrays Raynell, the daughter of protagonist Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s drama of family conflict. Her speaking role calls for singing and a wardrobe change from flannel nightgown to a “nice dress.”

This is Yemurai’s first theater experience, and she knows what’s required. “I have to be really loud,” says the young actress, who delivers her lines without the assistance of a microphone. She repeats Producing Artistic Director Timothy Bond’s other directions: no stomping of feet, take her time, rehearse lines a lot. And, “I should stand straight and pay attention to what the other actors are saying.”

Syracuse Stage chose Yemurai for the part after auditions.

On her day off, Yemurai plays on the computer with her sisters Asali, 4, and Zenani, 2, in the Syracuse apartment of her parents, Tasneem and Zuberi Tewogbola. The 7-year-old, who is all legs, wears a long purple dress and T-shirt. She is as bold in her fashion choices as she is confident onstage.

Yemurai, who is home-schooled, has eclectic tastes. She likes the music of Justin Bieber, Black Eyed Peas and Akon and enjoys watching PBS’ “The Electric Company” and YouTube and playing DressUpGames and FunBrain on the computer.

At month’s end, Yemurai will take her final bow and can dance purely in celebration of her professional debut.


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