The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The seventh annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. (Reserve your seat here.) Today we continue our rollout of the five finalists for Outstanding Lead Actress. The winner will advance to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).
Briseida Cisneros Castañeda
Aida in Aida
Vista PEAK Preparatory in Aurora
Class of 2019
Director: Heathe Stecklein
- What’s your handle? @briseidaci9240 on Twitter and @mylifeisgr8vato on Instagram
- College plans: I plan to go Metropolitan State University Denver in the fall and major in music education. I was in choir with the same director for six years, and he really inspired me to teach the thing I love most, and that is music.
First role: I played Duffy, the oldest orphan, in Annie. My first musical was also Vista PEAK’s first musical, so I’m considered an O.G. member. I had a solo in You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile and I made my whole family go see the show for that solo.
- Why do you perform? I perform because I love entertaining and storytelling. Like when you go to the movies during the day and get lost in the story, and then when you get out you realize you forgot about the rest of the world in those two hours.
- One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: Cynthia Erivo singing “I’m Here” from The Color Purple had me watching and re-watching her solo at the 2016 Tony Awards multiple times a day. Then the cast of The Color Purple singing on “The Today Show” had me in tears every time I watched it. I did not even know what the show was about at the time, and yet it moved me to tears and inspired me to sing from the heart always.
- Ideal scene partners: I would absolutely love to do a scene with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. I think they are a great comedic duo. To be honest, I don’t even want to be in the scene necessarily, I just want to be in the room and kind of up close so I can see the whole scene without it being cut. I love those guys.
- What’s playing on your Spotify right now? I’ve been playing songs by artists I grew up listening to like Marc Anthony, Selena, MC Magic, Frankie J, Baby Bash, Jesus Adrian Romero and more Latino artists.
- Favorite moment from your show: Our Radames, my co-star, had to miss a rehearsal and our director, Heathe Stecklein, stepped in and sang all of his songs into a mic. The cast was amazed with his voice and we were busy recording him on Snapchat that we weren’t as invested in the rehearsal. But it’s important to have moments like those because it was so much fun!
- How does it feel to be nominated? The nominees were all talking about this together, and we agreed that it is such a blessing. We think any of us might earn it and would deserve it. The best part of being nominated has been meeting all these amazing people from the other nominees and the Denver Center staff and the overall experience.
- What does it mean to you that the Bobby G Awards exist? The Bobby G Awards really push our schools to put out something better than a typical “high-school show.” This program makes us strive to put out a show that looks more like a professional production. It teaches students to commit to something and take it seriously. It also teaches students how to connect with music and a character, and I believe those are important tools in life.
- What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities at your school? This experience has reminded me that programs like the performing arts in schools really save lives. To be able to find a group of people that share your same interests in the time in your life when you most need attention and understanding, and the time when you’re finding your identity is necessary in schools. I’ve found my passion and my best friends in this program and all of it has helped me prepare for the rest of my life.