Tonight we open The War of the Worlds Project, a devised play that a handful of our teens have been working on since June. The youngest cast member is just newly a teen, but you’d never know it given how he shines on our stages. This young man has been on CYPT stages for a few years, actually, and grows more and more every time we see him. He’s developed a sharp wit over the years, which he puts to use both onstage and off! He has quickly become an important part of our CYPT family, and we so enjoy watching him grow as a performer and as a young man. It warms our hearts to see how far he’s come in such a short time, and we just know that there is an extremely bright future ahead for this kind, smart, and determined young guy. I asked him this afternoon for one thing he’s learned about himself through his time at CYPT. He said “I have a big voice.” He meant onstage, but his castmates and friends know his big voice also comes out in the form of encouragement for his peers, ideas for his art, and the odd sarcastic quip just for giggles. And who is this smart and often sassy slayer of stages?
August’s YP of the Month is none other than,
At age 10, Grady Galbraith peeked inside the CYPT door and wondered if there would be anything of interest in there. It turns out, a whole new whole world was waiting in that dark, mysterious place. Three years later, Grady looks back fondly on seven productions:
In Weaving Yarns: Medieval Myths and Legends, Grady is bitten by the acting bug and gets a crash course on what women want. In The Sleepy Hollow Project, Grady plays Fabian who storms out of a room in anger, but his mood quickly changes when both Grady and his character Max get their first kiss from a girl. In Richard III, Grady plays Young Prince Edward who is brutally murdered, but Grady recovers in time to make a comeback as a soldier fighting against a corrupt king.
In The Paper Bag Princess and Other Munsch Magic, Grady terrifies and delights Calgary Public Library audiences from beneath the belly of an inflatable dragon.
In Village of Idiots, Grady plays the Ugly Chelmnik whose oversized latex nose and persuasive charm win over the fairest maiden in the land and make theatre goers both cringe and chuckle. In Words for Tomorrow, Grady tells it like it is, with the help of a few pearls of wisdom from his secret informant. In The War of the Worlds Project, well, all Grady will tell us is that his hair products and suit are vintage 1930s.
Playing side parts in both tragedy and comedy, and still often as the youngest in the group, Grady jumps in with both feet. With the support of his artistic directors, Kristin, Jamie and, most recently, Nicola, he has learned about things like five rhythms, shadow gestures, shadow acting, all of which he has taken to like a duck to water. Every time he auditions, he hears Jamie’s voice in his head to not tug on his shirt or run his fingers through his hair.
Grady counts on his many theatre friends for all sorts of things, including the artistic hand of gorgeous female co-performers to apply his stage make up. He doesn’t even mind that the price for doing so is letting them put 40 bobby pins in his hair for their own amusement.
When asked about the best part of being in a CYPT play, Grady says, without hesitation, that it’s the time spent yukking it up with his theatre friends. There’s maybe only one thing that’s better and that would be belting out Bohemian Rhapsody at the post parties.
The CYPT family has given Grady a place to belong, a home away from home, the chance to keenly observe teen performers whose talent regularly knocks his toe socks off and inspires him to be just like them when he grows up, even though he’s already taller than most of them.
“I like the art and the complexity of theatre, because it makes you ponder about each and every line in the play. It makes you think ‘What do they mean?”