ALTON — Although she is still in grade school, Metro East resident Grace Costello already is gaining accolades for her acting career.
Grace, 13, who lives in Bethalto and attends Our Lady Queen of Peace school, accepted the Arts for Life award June 7 at Chaminade High School in St. Louis.
“I think that it’s just amazing,” she said. “I love doing theater and I have a wonderful family that supports me.”
Arts for Life, a nonprofit foundation based in St. Louis that works to support youth and community theater, presented the award. Judges observed actor performances throughout the region and voted on a winner. Grace won the award for playing the role of Annie in the play “Annie.” The production was staged by Curtains Up Theater at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville last August.
The show “Annie” represents familiarity, as the 13-year-old began acting at the age of 6 in a production at Alton Little Showplace. Grace said she enjoyed the experience and referred to it as “an upbeat story with a happy ending.” The award marked her first in the field of acting.
Over the years, she has appeared in community theater productions of “Godspell,” “Willie Wonka” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Her mother, Melissa, acted on the stage and encouraged her daughter to do the same.
“I love the people I’ve met,” Grace said on her involvement in the theater. “I also love being on stage. It’s a wonderful experience.”
The young thespian said when she appears on stage, it’s her goal to keep people involved.
“I’ve played so many different types of characters of the years,” she said. “Some were happy and some were sad, and I’ve used a lot of different accents. Accents are such an important part of this.”
Grace will appear in “Grease” July 9 at Alton Little Theater, playing the role of Frenchy.
“It should be a fun show,” she said. “We’re all going to have to master several accents. Since this is set in a different time period, the 1950s, we’ll have to act differently than we really do.”
An actor with ambitions, Grace wants to continue her involvement with the theater and eventually act professionally on Broadway as an adult.