Colleen Grate got her start as an actor at the tender age of six. A school librarian suggested she audition for The Sound of Music at a local dinner theatre where she was cast as Gretl, the youngest Von Trapp. Since that day, Colleen has nearly single-mindedly pursued the honing of her craft and the joy of performance.
Not long after her debut, she took voice, dance and acting lessons while participating in every opportunity available to perform on stage. This endeavor included a tour of Europe with a youth dance company in the summer before her high school education.
Colleen later attended Stephens College in Columbia, MO to receive a formal education in performance. There, she worked with some of the region's finest directors, premiere talent, and was herself cast in fantastic roles. She fondly remembers the 8-woman a cappella group she sang with before receiving her B.F.A. and moving back to her home town of Kansas City.
Acting is a multi-faceted art for Colleen, who relishes both the profound and light-hearted aspects of peformance. "As an actor, I find extreme joy in having a relationship with an audience. Sometimes my job is simply to entertain and provide relief from stress. Sometimes I have the hefty task of challenging the way an audience thinks about certain issues. Inhabiting different characters and living in someone else’s shoes for two hours is the biggest thrill imaginable." Colleen has never been discouraged by the long hours, stiff competition and incredible effort that a working actor faces in addition to such thrills. "I am well aware that I have the best job in the world."