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Voice of the performing arts

Up-and-coming performing arts star Gracie Voice is set to take the stage next week in Stagecraft Theatre’s show ‘Gabriel’ – a wartime drama set in Nazi-occupied Guernsey.

Growing up, Voice is a long-time participant in the performing arts scene, having started acting at just four years old.

The Carterton resident told the Times-Age her family has always been involved in the arts field as her mum was also her drama teacher growing up.

Voice attended Kuranui College and later completed a Bachelor in Performing Arts degree at the Ara Institute of Canterbury.

However, her pursuit of her passion has not been without its challenges.

During her studies, Voice began suffering extreme fatigue and pain, which she first put down to the high workload and stress of her degree.

Voice was later diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis and fibromyalgia, causing her to experience extreme fatigue, brain fog, and high levels of pain throughout her body.

But Voice isn’t letting this adversity hinder her in taking on acting opportunities.

Now 23 years old, the young actress is “really excited” to perform the role of Lily in Stagecraft’s production of Gabriel, directed by Meredith Dooley.

A play by acclaimed British playwright Moira Buffini, Gabriel is the story of a young man who is washed ashore with no memory of who he is and is taken home by Lily, who must help her mother-in-law overcome the advances of the terrifying Major Von Pfunz while hiding the handsome stranger.

“Gabriel has been a big challenge for me with a major fight scene as well as a lot of travel for rehearsals,” Voice said. “But it’s what I need to do and what I’ve been trained in, and I’m not going to let these illnesses stop me from doing what I love.

“I really relate to the role of Lily because, like me, she’s a singer and dancer – but also because Lily wants to help people and do what she believes is good.

“For me, the ‘doing good’ includes helping people better understand invisible disabilities like my own, including recognising we can still achieve all our goals with support and good symptom management.”

Voice involvement in the performing arts world includes recently taking on the role of director and tutor at Greytown Little Theatre, tech crew and assistant director with Masterton’s Harlequin Theatre, and assisting with this year’s Theatre Fest with the Masterton Theatre Company.

Voice also has her own Wairarapa-based business, Gracie’s Entertainment, which offers kids parties, hula hoop entertainment, and youth drama courses.

Her vision is to expand the business to the capital and land roles in professional productions in the city.

Gabriel will be playing at the Gryphon Theatre in Wellington from 12–22 July; tickets are available from iticket.com.

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