Spotlight: Andrew Hoekema finds thrill in live theater

Andrew Hoekema and his best friend Lucy.
Andrew Hoekema and his best friend Lucy. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Andrew Hoekema didn’t need to audition for the part of Chip in Lynden Christian High School’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” His elementary school music teacher suggested him, knowing he had what it took carry off the performance.

Hoekema, 10, was a fourth-grader during last school year’s performance and the only elementary school student in the high school production.

Singing comes naturally for Hoekema, who is known to croon around the house, to the irritation of his siblings.

“My sisters hate me for it,” Hoekema said.

But his sisters have their own talents for the stage. His older sister, Kristin, 12, spent several weeks this summer in a musical theater camp in Montana and was Wendy in Peter Pan at the Children’s Musical Theater Summer Stock Camp in Lynden earlier this summer. His twin sister, Sarah, is also involved in local theater productions, including Peter Pan. Hoekema was also “Fox,” one of the Lost Boys, in the show with his sisters.

Hoekema is always able to make his classmates laugh, said his mother, Karin Hoekema.

“He’s sort of a class clown,” she said.

So it’s no surprise that Hoekema says he’s not nervous on stage.

In addition to theater and singing, Hoekema plays piano and racquetball, and is on Lynden Youth Sports baseball, basketball and soccer teams. He also loves to read. His favorite book is “The Lord of the Rings.”

Things haven’t always gone smoothly onstage. Hoekema said that during a production of “The Music Man,” he was running across the stage when his shoe fell off. And he kept stepping on an errant clothespin that someone dropped on stage.

He admitted he was a little embarrassed, but realized that’s the thrill of live theater. Anything can happen.


Spotlight shines on children 12 or younger who excel in arts or education, and shares how their parents helped them achieve success.

To suggest a child to profile, send their name and a brief description of their accomplishments, along with a parent’s name and contact information, to newsroom@bellinghamherald.com.