A Story of Creativity

Academy Alumnus Colette Richardson

It’s been 30 years since we founded Gateway Academy. That’s three decades of rigorous rehearsals, theatre game laughing fits, and backstage butterflies. To mark the occasion we’re sharing three stories from our Alumni, one for each decade of Academy, that capture our theatre education program’s core tenets: courage, creativity, and connection. Up next, Colette on creativity!

Are your kids Broadway-bound? Here’s one tip from an alumnus: it’s about learning the attitude. Discover how Colette Richardson, independent theatre artist, and Academy alumnus, leaned into her creative capabilities through the support of Gateway Academy.

Especially for kids thinking I want to be on Broadway someday, it’s not just about skillset–lots of people develop the talent, but not everyone learns the attitude. That’s invaluable, and you can get it while still having a lot of fun. I’m so grateful for it; I have been able to make so many things happen for myself because of my time at Gateway Academy.

I got to do a lot of firsts at Gateway–my first leading role, my first professional gig, the first thing I ever produced. Everyone in that building had so much faith in me. There was trust in us to bring our best work, and that’s a huge thing to learn so young. I got to try new things with the support of a safety net, giving me the skills to figure it out on my own, and I grew bolder in my creative pursuits. What I can accomplish as an independent artist today is because of those building blocks, the ability to experiment and try new things.

I’m still performing. I got my certificate in musical theatre performance from the Musical Theatre Dramatic Academy in 2018, the same year I made my off-broadway debut in a show I produced myself. These days I run a virtual production company. I feel like I can take on these big ideas, and I don’t need anyone else’s permission. I think that’s what I’ve carried with me from Academy. I developed this confidence, and as a result I’ve taken massive leaps and bounds in my career as an artist.

Problem-solving, public speaking, discipline, empathy – a performer’s skill set comes in handy for school, work, and life. Whether a child is set on sciences or social media, Academy can help them pursue their passions with confidence. Explore our Fall and Winter theatre classes!