Peter Pan is open! It’s been such fun watching a new generation of kids fall in love with the OG children’s play, especially the older kids who’ve been around for a while and get to rediscover their earlier youth in this production. For one kid, the journey has been downright cyclical, because she started her time with CYPT playing a kid who didn’t want to go to bed and now, in her graduating year, ends the final act of Peter Pan playing a kid who doesn’t want to go to bed! This young lady is a blast to have around backstage, and a comedic powerhouse onstage. She’s also extremely kind, responsible, and welcoming and if I keep writing this sentence, I might just cry because she’s graduating and we love her and oh, here comes the waterworks. *Tissue break* And who is this wildly wacky weirdo and wonderful wee woman?
March’s YP of the Month is none other than,
Raeleigh started up with CYPT at the ripe age of eleven in her first ever show, Man in the Moon directed by the one and only Jamie Dunsdon. It was this first taste of theatre that unleashed a thirst for acting that could not be quenched. Since then Raeleigh has had the privilege to do productions every year. Following her touring library show debut Raeleigh has been in eight other productions with CYPT, most recently being Peter Pan. Since beginning with CYPT Raeleigh has gotten the opportunity to play a WIDE range of Characters. From nine-year-old Jane (Peter Pan) to ninety-year-old Sasha Van Tassel (The Sleepy Hollow Project) Raeleigh has stepped into many different characters.
As an awkward eleven year old Raeleigh thought, (as every kid does) that she was a grown up person and was ready for just about anything, but oh boy she was not ready for the love and appreciation she would soon have for CYPT. Flash-forward to now and is Raeleigh beyond grateful to CYPT for not only creating an environment in which she could grow and be herself but also for helping raise her into the person she is proud to be today.
Raeleigh is incredibly grateful for the work she has gotten to do with CYPT, Raeleigh has had the opportunity do crazy things like play crazy drunk ladies on stage and even improvise as said crazy drunk ladies throughout intermission. She’s also had the chance to play a man with the rockin’ style of socks and sandals plus the hottest khaki shorts you’ve ever seen. (She wasn’t kidding when she said she’s played a broad range of roles)
Raeleigh couldn’t put into words how much love she has for everyone she’s met, worked with and been mentored by in Calgary Young People’s Theatre. CYPT truly is a family and one of the best families to be a part of. Her fondest memories are one’s that happened there and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Though her time at CYPT is ending, she knows it isn’t going anywhere and really neither is she. Calgary Young People’s Theatre is a part of her and left a mark in her life that she won’t ever forget, so don’t worry she’ll be back lots.
Finally before you decide there are too many words to read and exit out of this tab, Raeleigh wants to take a moment to speak about the impact theatre has had in her life. Before Raeleigh first started acting she struggled a lot with fitting in. She always had too much energy to tame and at school she was often referred to as “weird” a word she detested for so long. When Raeleigh began theatre however, she found herself surrounded by so many “weird” people and that’s when she finally found out it wasn’t about trying to not be weird it was about being surrounded by the right people; the “weird” people.
So finally to sum it all up Raeleigh is beyond thankful for the profound impact of CYPT, theatre, and everything in between. She hopes that throughout her whole life going forward she carries the love, enthusiasm, humour and weirdness that she’s been graced for the last 7 years.
“Theatre takes you on a journey through the provocation of drama, comedy and everything in between. Theatre brings you alive.”