September YP of the Month

September 2nd, 2015

September YP of the Month

It’s audition week here at CYPT, and although some of our recent alumni have moved off to university and other adventures, we do our absolute best to make sure they can still contribute to the CYPT stage.  For instance, this week, from their brand new university dorm rooms, members of the Outpatient Collective are Skyping in to put the finishing touches on the script for Atlantis.  One of the members of our Outpatient Collective that we’re so happy we get to keep connecting with is also our September YP of the month.  And who is this sassy, strong, silly, and skilled sage of the stage?

September’s YP of the Month is none other than,

Abby Weeks!!!!!!

As a youngest sibling, a youthful Abby Weeks wanted to do what all youngest siblings want to do at four years old, she wanted to do whatever her older brothers were doing. Luckily, this included going to Drama camp. One production of Doctor Seuss’ The Snitches that first summer was all it took. She was hooked.

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Abby and Erin in Richard III (2015)

Eleven years of Summer camps later – having played various roles, primarily men, because…well nobody really knows why. She didn’t really care, so it worked out for everyone – Abby found herself looking for something more. In 2007, she had partaken in CYPT’s Fractured Fairytales, directed by Ethan Cole, but she seemed to have forgotten how different the experience had been. She wanted to grow, she wanted to develop her skills and try new things. Summer 2013, Abby auditioned for Mike Griffin’s Commedia Dell’arte production of The Wooers’ Woods. If you could find her beneath the fat suit and the mask, you would have seen her beaming at her discovery of the world suddenly opened before her eyes.

Having been with CYPT longer than she went to grade school, Abby has also participated in the 2014 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Christian Goutsis and the Calgary Children’s Festival revamp of Wooers’ Woods in 2014. Her final production was this past summer’s Richard III directed by the ever-elusive Jamie Dunsdon. It took until the last possible show, but Abby managed to get to work with her, and boy was she thankful. It was here that Abby discovered her new favourite approach to characters, playing with how a character acts when not in focus and how their most minute mannerisms can define who they are.

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The Wooer’s Woods

Abby would like to pursue more writing and directing opportunities in the near future, having shown her work at Bishop Grandin this past year. The work she is doing with the Outpatient Collective on this December’s Atlantis is particularly exciting! If you’re ever in Edmonton, yes Edmonton, then you can stop by the U of A and possibly find Abby lurking around the arts buildings, working on her Bachelor of Arts in Drama.

There is nothing that has been more influential on Abby’s childhood than CYPT. The loving people, the amazing friends, the wonderful experiences and challenges, the intriguing characters. There aren’t words to thank the family at CYPT for being so supportive and showing Abby exactly what she wanted to do with her life, for showing her a home away from home. However, if there were, they would be something along the lines of Thank You, so very much.

Abby and Cordell in A Midsummer Night's Dream (2014)

Abby and Cordell in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014)

“I used to say that theatre was like dress-up for adults without the judgement. I still think that’s true to a certain extent, but acting is for everybody. It’s for the audience, it’s for the actor, it’s for the cast, it’s for the booth, it’s for the critics, it’s for the adults, it’s for the families that come and the families that are formed, and it’s for the children within us all. It’s the most socially acceptable way for adults to be allowed to play. I couldn’t be more thankful for how theatre, especially Calgary Young People’s Theatre, has shaped my life.”

~Abby Weeks

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