Artist of the Issue: Caroline Drapeau



She struts onto the stage, hot pink miniskirt glaring against the spotlight as high-heels click rhythmically. She sets down her tote, and a small dog playfully jumps out and skitters around her. “I feel comfortable using legal jargon in everyday life. I object!” Caroline Drapeau ‘21 delivers a showstopping performance as Elle Woods in the 2020 winter musical production of Legally Blonde. Recognized for her many talents such as acting, dancing, and singing, Drapeau has established herself as a distinguished member of Groton performing arts, involved in numerous incredible plays, musicals, and one-acts, as well as Groton dance and the Maqupellas. 


You’re considered a triple-threat around here for acting, dancing, and singing. Is any one area of the arts your main act? If yes, what? 

When I used to do community theater, our director from back then would always tell us: “There are actors who sing and dance, dancers who sing and act, and singers who act and dance. Everyone is one of those three.” I could never figure out which one of those was me. I started singing first, and then dancing shortly thereafter, and finally acting. I would consider none of three to be my chief interest, because they’ve all developed equally with me.This question has been on my mind for quite a while because it’s pertinent to what I’m going to be doing post-Groton. I was always involved in the arts. At Groton I jumped around in Groton dance and choir, settling on musicals, plays, dance recitals, one acts, and Maqupellas. 


What is or has been your favorite Groton production? Why?

This might be the expected answer, but Legally Blonde will always be my favorite. Legally Blonde was particularly special because it felt like a full circle moment. I was in a place that I had revered when I first came here. Being able to do that show was so unexpected and crazy at the same time because it was a part that I had always wanted to play, but never really thought I would get to play. It was a huge amazing house, full of so many talented people with diverse expertise. It was truly wonderful. So much fun.


We all started somewhere. How did you discover this passion for the arts?

My mom was a singer for most of her life, so she naturally introduced me to musicals very early on in my childhood. I fell in love immediately. I loved The Sound of Music, I loved Disney – particularly The Lion King. I would run around my kitchen, belting out lyrics while dancing. As for dance, it’s funny – I attended dance classes when I was young and I hated them so much. It wasn’t until I took a break for a few years and then came back that I discovered I actually loved it. I really liked being on stage, so I thought, “I really like acting, singing, and dancing. What can I do that incorporates all these things?” I started auditioning for shows and soon found this little community theater where I ended up spending five years of my life every season, every year performing all the time. That’s where all of my love really grew. 


What has been the toughest moment in your artistic career, physically and/or mentally?

I’ve had some pretty tough dance roles: in Cabaret, I would come back from rehearsal bruised and sore because I was doing all these acrobatic moves. That was tough physically, but I was still having the time of my life. But Legally Blonde was in a different league. It was a real killer of a show. Not only did I have to dance a ton, but the role also required vocal stamina that I didn’t know I had or if I could pull off. It was exhausting in so many ways but honestly, there is nothing else I would have rather done. I joked about how tough it was at the time, but I would’ve been miserable had I not done it. I’m happiest doing a show, chest-deep in all of the crazy things that go on when I’m performing.


Do you have any tips for people aspiring to be a part of the performing arts?

For Groton newcomers, and really for anyone who’s interested in performing arts, it takes a lot of courage to be a part of the performing arts program. When I first came here, I, who had been doing theater for years, was incredibly intimidated by everything – the productions and the level of Groton talent was insane. But taking on that first week will be so, so worth it. Something I found really cool about Legally Blonde was that so many of the people that took part in the musical came from a range of special talents; everyone felt like they belonged to this show and that’s what made it so special. Putting yourself out there requires vulnerability, but this program is genuinely a safe space full of brilliant, enthusiastic artists.