LOOKS BRIGHT: Gifted theater student eyes writing, lots more

Published 12:14 am Saturday, June 10, 2017

LAPLACE — When she was just a tot, Gianna Williams’ dad used to talk about how animated he thought his little daughter was.

Gianna says she used to sing, dance, act, flip and tumble all over the house.

“I like to put on plays for my mom,” Gianna said.

So, it’s really no wonder that Gianna now is a budding little singer/actress/acrobat with dreams of starring on stage and or screen.

Gianna Williams

She’s already on her way as a member of the talented theater class at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School. Among the students designated as “gifted,” Gianna receives extra attention in certain activities, such as drama.

“She is just a superstar,” said Jason Beber, the school’s principal. “She loves teaching and learning. That’s just what you want from a kid, a student who is passionate about what she does. She knows exactly what she wants to do and she has a plan to make it happen. She’s an overachiever.”

As school ended last month, the fourth grader was preparing to perform a scene as the character July from the musical “Annie.”

It’s a matter of routine for the rising fifth grader now.

“I had to take a test to go into it,” Gianna explained. “I had to learn a script and perform it. Each year I do it. I like to act.”

Gianna said she used to take dance classes, but now the tiny youngster is focusing on tumbling.

“I can do all kinds of stuff,” she said, listing a repertoire of flips, bends and splits she can perform.

Gianna isn’t always bouncing around, however.

When she is not on the stage or on the tumbling mat, Gianna, the daughter of Tessa Williams and Willie Williams Jr., likes to read and write her own stories about magical characters in mythical kingdoms.

“I like English,” she said. “I like to read but I think I’m better at writing stories and stuff. I’d like to tell, like, a mythical story. In class, at the end of the assignment we have to write a story. My story is about a magical place about a character named Farra.”

Combined with her love of acting, Gianna agreed it might not be so far-fetched that, someday, she could write her own play, then star in it.

“I could,” she said with a giggle.

Don’t be surprised if her play also includes a scene in a science lab. Gianna said she got a science kit for Christmas and is having a lot of fun performing all the experiments.

“There’s a project where you mix vinegar and baking soda and make it a gas and if you put a balloon over it, it blows it up,” she said. “That was fun.”