INTRODUCING GILLIAN: The Academy campaign’s youngest donor

Gillian, a local theatre aficionado, is the youngest on record to have donated to the campaign to restore the Academy of Music Theatre. At  age 8, Gillian gave her weekly allowance toward the campaign. Now at age 12, Gillian’s passion has only grown for the Academy’s restoration.

PosterFlexRetro09 - Academy of Fine Arts - Gillian

Academy: Why did you choose to give your allowance toward the restoration when you were 8 years old?

G: Because I wanted to see the historic theatre become pretty and revived again. I have seen the designs for the theatre and it looks really cool. I would really like to see that happen.

Academy: What do you normally spend your allowance on?

G: (laughs) Usually just little trinkets like gum and mints and chocolate bars. I love chocolate…

Academy: What about the Academy of Music theatre is important to you?

G: That it would be a big place for plays. We perform summer theatre down in the
other building, and the big stage would just make it feel so much more theatre-like.

Academy: What do you want to do when you grow up?

G: Well, first thing, I would like to be an actress, and I have two back up plans if that doesn’t work for me (laughs). My first back up plan is to be a dentist, and my second is a history teacher because I love history.
So yes, dentistry and history.

Academy: What made you want to be an actress?

G: The Academy’s a very artsy place and I’ve come here since I was little. My Dad put me in Sleeping Beauty
with my brother, and I loved the experience, and I went back every summer.

Academy: Did you perform onstage this summer with Encore Youth Theatre?

G: I did Hairspray, Jr. in Encore, my first year of Encore, and I loved it. It was a little difficult
since I was one of the only young kids there, but I got along and it was really great. (laughs)
I was girl #2, girl #5 and girl solo. Yeah!

Academy: What other roles have you played at the Academy?

G: A caterpillar, a caterpillar end… a dog, Mordrid- King Arthur’s Son.
Oh, yes! I played Roquefort the mouse in The Aristocats and the
Mayor of Munchkinland. I’ve done a lot!

Academy: During Encore you toured the historic theatre…

G: I remember going on stage at Encore and I just sat there and admired the
view while everyone else was like “Whoa!” I have danced on the stage and
that was an amazing experience for me because it’s such a big stage.
I loved it! This is like a home and it’s kind of like moving. I’m a little
excited and a little scared about that.

Academy: What is your favorite part in the historic theatre?

G: There’s a place on the side of the theatre where the steps wind up
toward the stage; I love climbing up those. It’s like a tunnel; once you
step out you see this humungous stage that is so cool. I remember
one time my Dad and I went up several flights of stairs that lead up
to the balconies and I was a little afraid of heights. We walked up to
the 2nd balcony, and my Dad said “C’mon, let’s keep going.” I was
so scared; at the top I wouldn’t get off the stairs!

Academy: What would your ideal performance be on the historic stage?

G: Singing in the Rain. I love that play so much; it’s my number one
thing that I want to do. I would be fine with any part, like a backup
dancer or anything, because I just love it!

Academy: Even play the end of a caterpillar?

G: Yes, I would be the end of a caterpillar for that!
It would be beautiful!