With an energy and spirit that exudes confidence, Gabrielle Lloyd takes to the stage as the lead female role in the original production of The Common Denominator by Augusta Mini Theatre in mid-January.
"She's dedicated to her character and she's always punctual and dependable," said Judy Butler, Gabrielle's drama teacher. "She's just a lot of fun to work with. I call her a little bubble of joy."
Gabby, as she is affectionately known by her friends, is the 15-year-old daughter of Carl and Debra Lloyd of Evans. A sophomore at Greenbrier High School, Gabrielle began taking drama classes when a piano class she signed up for was full.
"Growing up, I wanted to sing, but now my passion is acting," Gabrielle said. Although she isn't taking any drama classes at school, she said she hopes to take drama next year or her senior year.
An A/B honor student who also was on the school's step team a year ago, Gabrielle plans to try out for the Greenbrier High Hip Hop Dance Club this year.
Greenbrier High Choral Teacher Pamela McCorkle said Gabrielle is always making other students feel welcome and at home in her class.
Gabrielle Lloyd, of Evans, has the lead female role in the original production of The Common Denominator at Augusta Mini Theatre.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I can truly say that every girl likes Gabby," she said. "She is always smiling, helpful and a joy to teach. I have never seen her in a bad mood, and this is my second year teaching her. All the girls look to her for leadership."
Gabrielle hopes her role in The Common Denominator will give local girls who might be struggling the direction they need.
"The play is basically about trying to figure out why so many kids are joining gangs or getting into trouble," said Gabrielle, who plays the female leader of a co-ed gang.
"We make suggestions at the end of the play about how to help these young boys and girls not return to prison," said Tyrone Butler, the founder of Augusta Mini Theatre and the play's creator. "We talk about why they are in prison."
Butler said the play opens in "any neighborhood." The production goes on to show the crimes young people commit, with the second act taking place in prison.
The characters show what goes on while they are in prison "to encourage young folks to not get in trouble in the first place," Butler said, adding that he got the concept to write the play after interviewing about a dozen boys at an area youth prison.
He asked the youngsters why they did what they did and what could change to help them out of their situations.
"This play is based on real-life stories," he said. "The play ends back in the neighborhood."
Gabrielle's hope is that those who see the Jan. 13-16 production will experience a change in their lives as a result.
"I would really love that," she said.
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