Gabrielle Coleman credits her faith and involvement at church with getting her into the performing arts, but she took it a step further at Grand Valley High School.
A Western Slope native, Coleman lived in Wisconsin for several years before ending up in Parachute in time for middle school.
Now a senior, her ninth and final appearance on the high school stage will be as Kim MacAfee in “Bye Bye Birdie.” She also recently obtained the highest score in Grand Valley history at the state theatre competition, and is slated to compete nationally in June.
Coleman took a moment to chat with the Post Independent about her passion for theater and her many other interests, as well.
Post Independent: How did you get started in the arts?
Gabrielle Coleman: I’ve done piano since I was really little. I wanted to quit, but my mom convinced me to keep going, and I’m glad she did. Along with singing in church, that has been the foundation I carried with me wherever I went. I play at church a lot, and this winter I was actually the accompanist for the community Christmas Choir. Mostly, I do the talent show at school every year.
PI: Where did you go from there?
GC: I did choir for a year, but theater is really my favorite thing to do. When I was in sixth grade I saw a show here and found out middle-schoolers could audition. So in seventh grade I got small role in “Charlotte’s Web.”
PI: Why does theatre stand out?
GC: I love being around other people and working with other people. You also get to experience someone else’s life, and that really appeals to me.
PI: Does your background lead you more toward musicals?
GC: I did three musicals before I was in a regular play. I played Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker,” and I loved it. So I enjoy musicals, but regular better.
PI: What sort of activities do you participate in outside the arts?
GC: I love soccer. I’ve done it all four years, although it often conflicts with the shows, so I don’t get to participate as much. I did cross country and volleyball and cheerleading each for a year.
PI: Have you had a chance to perform outside of school?
GC: State Theatre is a huge thing for me. I went all four years. It’s a competition, but there are also workshops, and you get to see other kids do their stuff and be with other people who are like you. It’s awesome.
PI: It must also be intimidating.
GC: It is. Here you may think you’re the bee’s knees because you get the big parts, but you go there and see all these talented people, and it’s really humbling.
PI: What are your plans for after high school?
GC: I thought for years and years and I’ve come to a point where I don’t think I’m going to do it as a career, but I will always do it in my life.
PI: In that case, what kind of career are you considering?
GC: I’m thinking about majoring in biology so I can go to med school. My dad’s a doctor, and for years I swore I would never do it, but I like being around people, and I like helping people.
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The New Ute Theatre Society is hosting their second annual Casino Night benefit Saturday in Rifle