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Sound and sight: Skye Goulbourne

Skye Goulbourne: Dreams come true

Skye Goulbourne loved performing as a child and into her late teens, but had to take an extended break from pursuing her higher education and professional development. Her return to musical theatre, dance and singing was greatly facilitated by her deep involvement with the Huntsville Theater Company beginning in 2018.

For Goulbourne, it was a dream come true.

His most recent role was as part of the cast ensemble of Lease. The iconic and beloved musical, produced by the Monarch Performing Arts Studio and directed by Autumn Smith with an ensemble cast of local actors and leading lights from across Ontario, ran at the Algonquin Theater from 1 to April 9 with a very acclaimed and grateful audience.

Lease, one of Broadway’s longest-running shows — and perhaps one of its most successful — is undoubtedly an uplifting piece of musical art. Written by Jonathan Larson, based on the opera by Giacomo Puccini Bohemian, it tells the story of several budding artists, friends, and lovers struggling to survive in New York City. A raucous and thrilling play, Lease became one of the most revered and watched shows in Broadway history.

Goulbourne was also chosen to star in sister act as its central character, Deloris Van Cartier, in April 2020, but production was canceled due to the pandemic.

She works tirelessly to improve her abilities. Musical theater requires a set of skills specific to musical interpretation: the artist must be able to dance, sing and act throughout the same performance.

Goulbourne focused most of her efforts on dance and movement, taking classes available at the Monarch Performing Arts Studio in Huntsville. The ability to express emotion and dramatic intent through dance forces the dancer to use limbs and muscle groups independently, freeing the body to confidently respond to the needs of the song or choreography.

In preparation for his role in sister act, Goulbourne also had to prepare his vocal range. The part requires a singer to cast their voice, a technique that includes breath control and channeling the sound of the chest, throat, and head voices to increase the volume a singer could achieve. “It’s a bit of both,” Goulbourne explains, how the voice opens up. “It’s definitely a bigger voice, and it’s like a chest voice, but it’s above your breaking point. Normally your voice sort of transitions to your head voice, and so it’s like a higher chest voice, but it’s still powerful.

All of this training is aimed at fostering confidence, overcoming shyness, and ultimately encouraging the student to discover the talents required of professional stage actors.

“Skye is a born artist. She lights up the stage and it’s so clear that she belongs there,” says Mallary Davenport, founder of Monarch Performing Arts Studio. “It was such an easy choice to cast her in the HfA [Huntsville Festival of the Arts] musicals after working with her in HTC productions as well as mine. Her first love may be teaching, but she’s an exceptional member of any cast. Her ability to connect with others and her generosity as a stage partner are a marvel to behold. I look forward to many more shows with her as director and to have the great fortune of sharing the stage with her as a fellow performer.

Skye Goulbourne (center) performing with Lauren Rodriquez (left), president of the Huntsville Theater Company, and Mallary Davenport, founder of the Monarch Performing Arts Studio. (provided)

The stated mission of the Huntsville Theater Company is to “foster creativity, community spirit, and honest support among people.” Goulbourne found her voice, so to speak, by being active in the theater company as a performer, producer and director. To date, Goulbourne has performed in twelve shows, produced two and directed The Savannah Sipping Society in February 2019.

In October 2020 following the confinement, Goulbourne also produced an online broadcast, IGNITE. “It was a virtual celebration of representation in the arts and the impact it had on different artists. I researched different artists with very outspoken designated groups – people of color, Latina, gay relationships, mental health, just a wide variety. Then find songs, pieces, or artistic experiences that resonated with them at that level of their identity. We were all over the world. There were local artists from Huntsville, then I had artists from Toronto, Brockville, New York. Broadcast from the Monarch Performing Arts Studio, the project was an innovative and exciting event.

Goulbourne describes herself as a “yes girl”, which means she is ready to train and put in the work to complete any project related to theater or musical productions. In addition to her lively and playful temperament, she is a dynamic and determined person.

His next project will be The beauty and the Beast, in the title role of Belle, for the Huntsville Festival of the Arts which is awaiting confirmation of the schedule. It’s a pivotal role and an exciting part, one that Goulbourne hopes will come to fruition. It’s clearly a starring role she’s meant to play.

Community theater provides a level of experience for the artists and artisans involved in each production. Additionally, community theater allows talents like Skye Goulbourne’s to be nurtured and find a place in our lives from which we all benefit and thrive.

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