As reported here, an elite group of young performers from the Central Arkansas Performing Arts Academy (CAPAA) in Cabot will entertain at the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios in Florida during spring break.
This article is the second of a series that will spotlight each of the performers in the group, which is known as the CAPAA Players. If you missed the first article in this series, click here.
This profile is of Gabi Batlzley, 21, who serves as the vocal instructor of CAPAA. Gabi is a graduate of Parkview Arts/Science Magnet School in Little Rock and studied musical theatre at Ouachita Baptist University.
Q: How did you get interested in performing arts?
A: I got interested in the performing arts my freshman year of high school on the day of auditions for the spring musical, High School Musical. I told my mom about the auditions as she was driving me home from school, and she turned the car around and said, "You're going to audition for this musical." So I auditioned, was cast in the ensemble, and from then on was hooked.
Q: What was your first role?
A: My first role ever was a nerd in High School Musical. Impressive, I know.
Q: What other roles have you played?
A: My favorite roles I've played have been Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes, Pickles in The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Kitty in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Margot in Legally Blonde the Musical.
Q: What role(s) do you hope to someday play?
A: Roles I hope to have are Natalie in Next to Normal, Galinda in Wicked, Maria in The Sound of Music, and Cathy in The Last Five Years.
Q: If you had to choose one--acting, singing, or dancing--which would it be and why?
A: I would choose acting over singing or dancing because although I would consider singing to be my strong suit, I would love to be on TV or in movies.
Q: What (Who) is your favorite . . .
. . . Broadway musical?
A: Although it's difficult to choose a favorite musical, I would have to say mine is probably The Last Five Years, written by Jason Robert Brown.
. . . actor?
My favorite Broadway actor is Aaron Tveit.
. . . actress?
My favorite Broadway actress Annaleigh Ashford.
Q: What is the best thing about performing arts?
A: The best thing about performing arts is the bond that you create with your cast mates.
Q: What is the single best memory you have related to performing arts?
The best memory I have of the performing arts is when I was playing Pickles in The Great American Trailer Park Musical. The cast was so small, and we were literally like a family. It was also the most fun I've had onstage since I started performing.
Q: What advice do you have for those interested in performing arts?
My advice for people interested in the performing arts is to please not let anyone discourage you from pursuing what you love. If theatre is your passion, there are so many opportunities for you. Just work hard, and be confident in yourself.
Q: Can you sum up your life with one Broadway song title?
A: If I had to sum up my life with one Broadway song title, it would be "Climbing Uphill" from The Last Five Years.