Student Spotlight: Emma Brooksby

Emma Brooksby, 10, of Birchwood Elementary poses with a poster for "The Wizard of Oz," which the drama club performed on April 21.INDIANA NASH/GAZETTE REPORTER Emma Brooksby, 10, of Birchwood Elementary poses with a poster for "The Wizard of Oz," which the drama club performed on April 21.

By Indiana Nash
Gazette Report
NISKAYUNA — Emma Brooksby, 10, took center stage April 21 as Dorothy in Birchwood elementary’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
When she was in first grade, Emma went to see one of the plays that Birchwood stages and was hooked. “I saw the plays that the school had done before and knew that I really wanted to join drama club when I could,” she said.
At Birchwood, the drama club consists of fourth- and fifth-grade students. So Emma joined as soon as she could and auditioned for one of the biggest roles.
According to Emma, there are approximately 57 students involved in the club and the production and although she already knew most of them from other classes, she has also made friends with a few of the fifth-graders she acts with.
“When I first found out that I got the part I was really excited,” said Emma, practically beaming. But as the show drew near, she began to get nervous.
As she spoke to Your Niskayuna, a day before curtain rose, Emma was feeling relatively confident. “I’m right in between anxious and excited,” she said.
The production was about two hours long altogether and although it wasn’t the first time Emma has been on stage, it was the first she’s had so many lines to get down. The drama club rehearsed for about five weeks before production, but students were mainly in charge of learning their lines. “It was mainly a homework thing,” said Emma.
Suzanne and Evan Brooksby, her parents, had been feeding her lines for the past few weeks to help he memorize them and deliver them naturally. “My mom usually reads me the line before mine and we start right from the beginning,” said Emma.
She has three other siblings, Bradley, Stacey, and Rob, and although they don’t share her love of the stage, they helped support the production in other ways. Stacey assisted with stage makeup and her brothers attended the show.
Rounding out the family is a dog named Scratch. “We named him that because one of the last things my mom did with her grandmother was to go and look at the dog. Then when she passed away the next day, my mom said that we had to adopt the dog. We named him Scratch because my great grandmother really like to scratch Lotto tickets,” said Emma.
Beyond stage life, she loves to read. “I like a thick and thrilling mystery book,” said Emma. One of her favorites is “Half Upon a Time” by James Riley.
She also loves science, particularly engineering. “I went to a Girl Scout engineering program where they told us all about all different types of engineering, like civil and biological,” said Emma. But the one part of engineering that really piqued her interest is prosthetics.
“I think it’s so cool how we went from having peg legs to having bionic arms,” said Emma.
Graduation may be a long way off, but Emma already has a plan or two for her life beyond school and the stage.