By Terry Jacoby/weloveannarbor.com
There are a few go-to words that Rhea Galbraith likes to use that also can be used to describe her. When the Pioneer senior describes what it means to her to perform on stage, she talks about “creativity,” and “connection,” and “community,” and “collaboration.”
She also talks about taking advantage of every moment, building friendships and having fun. Because isn’t that what life – on and off the stage – is all about.
Galbraith will bring that creativity and connection and fun and energy to the stage this weekend. Pioneer Theatre Guild’s FutureStars 2022 returns for its 20th year at the University of Michigan’s Power Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26.
Last year, Galbraith was the host of FutureStars, which she described as a “creative and educational experience.”
“I loved creating connections between the performers and the audience and getting the freedom to make skits about what we thought would resonate or be funny to the community,” she says. “I also performed as a Rising Star and a Future Star which gave me so many great friends and a greater connection to the PTG community! I also gained collaboration and music skills from that experience!”
Galbraith will take that experience onto the stage this year as she will perform two songs, including a duet of the song, “Song to you,” from the Nickelodeon TV Show Victorious.
“I am so excited for this duet because I am so fortunate to be performing with one of my best friends, Landon Brimacombe,” she says. “I love this song and I hope other kids will too because it is a fun reminder of a TV show from our childhood and it is just a sweet and upbeat song to keep the performances light and happy!”
The other song she will be singing is the Queen rock anthem, “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
“It is a more rock and dramatic song, but I gravitate to it because of how gritty and fun it is, especially singing with a group,” she says. “I feel so lucky to be performing two contrasting songs that both can have a lot of meaning to the audience!”
Galbraith, 18, has been busy preparing for the performance on stage and even outside of rehearsals. “I talk to my sister, Mia Galbraith, who is training to go into musical theatre, about how I can make my performances better,” she says. “My coachings have been incredible! I look forward to them every week. All of my coaches are so supportive and fun and very insightful! I always feel comfortable expressing questions or ideas that I have. I am so grateful to get to work with the coaches.”
Galbraith is not only looking forward to performing but watching all the other great talent take the stage. There is a sense of community with great support for one another that helps make FutureStars special.
“I remember in 2020 getting to watch the performances right under the stage at rehearsals, and it would be the most supportive crowd, jumping and dancing to show love to whoever was on stage,” she says. “Future Stars is a brilliant way of connecting and celebrating our community. PTG is incredible for keeping it going no matter the challenges faced to get it done.”
Rhea, the daughter of Michelle and Stephen Galbraith, sings to a 3.943 GPA and has been quite busy during her four years at Pioneer. She is a co-chair of the Choir Council; business manager for her Acapella Group, Harmony; vice president of the Pioneer Theatre Guild’s Student Board; former business manager on Pioneer Theatre Guild’s Student Board; a member of the Interact Club; and a member of the National Honors Society.
Galbraith plans on attending college and is in the process of figuring out where she wants to go. “I would like to major in marketing and business which I give PTG some credit for,” she says. “I was PTG’s marketing manager from 2020-2021 and still help here and there. This experience showed me how fun it is to connect people through marketing and gave me real-world experience on how to be a marketer.
“I would also like to have law involved in my future plans because I want to learn how to change the world and help other people in this way.”
Galbraith says she likes being a leader – and to dream big.
“My dream career is to be an entrepreneur and open my own business that pioneers sustainability and community health,” she says. “I want to get things done to help our world.”