Toppass prepares for final performance

Senior Grace Toppass returned to the stage to take part in “Seussical the Musical.”


Madlynn Morris

Senior Grace Toppass performs as a bird girl in “Seussical the Musical” this weekend in the Performing Arts Center.

Exa Nix, Staff Writer

After five years of ballet class, Grace Toppass failed the ballet exam. She was 7 years old. The teacher told her she was too free-spirited in her test.

“Grace took a variety of dance classes,” mom Melissa Toppass said. “Her favorite classes were the less structured ones that gave her more creative expression.”

While participating in Christian Youth Theater (CYT), she continued with dance and vocal lessons. She did 14 shows and performances from ages 7-14. Her favorite memory is her first big role as Snoopy in “Charlie Brown.”

“I originally went in wanting Lucy or Sally, you know, (the roles) a girl would want,” Toppass said. “I ended up getting a spontaneous callback for Snoopy, which I ended up getting cast as. I had three songs and two monologues. I had so much fun.”

During “Charlie Brown,” she made longtime friends, some of whom she still keeps in contact with today. Toppass continued doing shows, making many good memories. Her roles included Eliza in “Hamilton,” Katherine in “Newsies” and Glinda in “Wicked.”

“We did ‘Music Man,’ and I don’t have a big role, but I was a dancer,” Toppass said. “But we got to sing and dance on stage and there were, like, 14 of us, girls and guys who just did dancing, and it was just really, really fun.”

Toppass stopped doing CYT shows after many of her favorite friends aged out of the program. 

In 10th grade, she went from being homeschooled to enrolling at Kingwood Park. In her first year, Toppass was shy until she adjusted and grew into her outgoing and friendly personality. Now as a senior, she is part of many clubs, organizations and is the captain of the golf team. 

“They keep me so busy,” Toppass said. “They’ve become my hobbies. And, like, singing is mentally relaxing. Golf is physically relaxing.”

After leaving CYT, she took a hiatus from acting and dancing to focus on her other electives and busy schedule. Now she’s back in her senior year as a bird girl in “Seussical the Musical,” which is being performed in the Performing Arts Center this weekend.

“I like getting to know people,” Toppass said, “and getting to sing and dance together in the same environment and not competitive.

“It’s fun to come do things you used to find joy in. It’s nice to do it one last time. I have a bunch of friends coming.”

After the show is over, Toppass will finish out her senior year. She plans to major in business management next year at Texas A&M. She plans to join the school choir, as well as possibly minor in music. 

“I love that Grace doesn’t try and be like everyone else,” Melissa Toppass said. “She is happy and confident doing the things she loves.”