Brought It On: Five Minutes with a Sophomore Theater Student
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Earlier in the year, in the Robinson High School auditorium during the Night of One Acts, Gabriella Wallace (’18) stepped up on the stage to sing her solo song “Kiss Me Kate.” As she looked out at the audience, she felt confident and relaxed; so relaxed, in fact, that as the music began, instead of singing her solo song, she began to sing a different Broadway tune.
“Everyone thought it was part of it,” laughed Wallace. “It was awful, but it was funny afterward.”
Now, Wallace has one of the lead roles in the school’s production of Bring It On: The Musical. She plays Bridget, a shy, nerdy girl who, along with cheer captain Campbell, is redistricted to an inter-city school. The play mainly follows Campbell’s journey to create and improve the squad at her new school and ends with an epic battle between the girls’ former school Truman HS and their current school Jackson HS. For Wallace’s character Bridget, the course of the musical documents her journey to self-acceptance. Unlike some of the roles she’s had in the past, Wallace relates to the role of Bridget.
“Bridget specifically is almost exactly like me, so I have a very easy task,” said Wallace, “but with other characters, sometimes I’ll have to get into it. If it’s a mean character, I’m not mean, so it’s kind of hard. Offstage, I’ll just try to yell at people and try to get that character inside.”
Wallace was born in Florida but grew up in New York. At the age of five, she started performing seriously. Living in one of the cultural cornerstones of our nation, she participated in multiple shows in black box theaters and a few off-Broadway productions. Credits on her resume include but are not limited to Snow White, The Lion King, and four separate performances of Alice in Wonderland. Working with a vocal coach, who was herself involved in plays such as the Phantom of the Opera, Wallace’s interest grew.
“I miss it a lot, because we lived about 20 minutes away from the city,” explained Wallace, “so I would just take the train out there whenever I wanted and theater was a huge part [of my life] there. I loved it.”
However, while moving back to Florida meant there were less theatrical activities to take part in, the theater will always be a big part of Wallace’s life, no matter where she lives. She attributes a lot of her charisma and outgoing nature to being a theater actress.
“I’m not scared to talk to people,” said Wallace. “I can stand on stage and talk, no matter how many people are there, and I’m just really open. I’m not shy at all. It just makes me who I am, I guess. I’m very unique and I think theater has a big part in that.”
As Wallace prepares for the upcoming show, she is happy to be surrounded by wonderful people who share her interests.
“I know the theater people here. They’re like my family, so whenever I’m at theater, there’s a really happy vibe.”
Become a part of this happy vibe next week (on April 20th, 21st, and 22nd @ 7:00pm) as the Robinson High School Theatre Troupe performs their rendition of Bring It On: The Musical.