Twelve-year-old Brendan Sawyer stops for a moment. Slightly exasperated with himself, he calls out: "Line!"

After he gets a prompt for a line that briefly escaped him during final rehearsals for "The Jungle Book," the Roger Ludlowe Middle School student took a break and observed, "I really like acting."

Sawyer's got the lead role in the Fairfield Preteen Theatre production of "The Jungle Book," that of Mowgli, the man-cub in Rudyard Kipling's famous tale. It's his first year in the summer program sponsored by the Parks & Recreation Department for younger actors and actresses, an offshoot of its popular Teen Theatre. Both camps are run by Christine DeAndrade, and take place on the stage at Fairfield Warde High School.

"I wanted to do acting over the summer, and my mom found this," Sawyer said, of the four-week program that offers both a morning and afternoon session.

Playing Mowgli, Sawyer said, gives him lots of lines to recite and hone his craft.

But it's not only fun, Sawyer said, but, "I learned how every play you do can be exciting -- last year in the school play I had the lead role -- but it's also a lot work. I also learned a lot of acting skills."

Tara Reuter, 19, who just completed her sophomore year at the Hartt School in Hartford, was once on that stage where Sawyer finds himself.

"I was probably 9 or 10," Reuter said. "I had done theater for a while." When the pre-teen program started, Reuter jumped at the opportunity.

"I came right when it started," she said. "It was a great summer camp in Fairfield; a great opportunity."

The cast from Preteen Theatre's morning session will give its performance of "The Jungle Book" at 7 p.m. Friday, while the afternoon crew will take the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday. Both performances will take place in Fairfield Warde High School.