The Journey of Emma Giltner


From start to finish, senior Emma Giltner believes that she has found her passion in life. With the help of her mentors and family, Giltner steadily improved into the person that she is now, has extreme faith in a future in theater.

“I would love to do theater for the rest of my life … Whether that be through Broadway or Unity [or]…West End, anything, as long as I can just do musical theater and perform for people,” Giltner said.

From a young age, Giltner has worked toward success in the fields of music and theater arts. However, it is not just because of her talentt. She said her organization, passion and determination are the reasons for her success.

“[When] my sister was a freshman in high school, she did ‘Little Shop of Horrors’,” Giltner said. “My family came to watch the show. It was the first show I’ve ever seen [from a] high school, and I absolutely adored it. That’s how I got started wanting to do musical theater.”

Giltner has been involved in multiple projects since then, including helping South Middle School with musical choreography and landing roles in various productions, including Wednesday Addams in Timberland’s “Adams’ Family” and The Editor’s Wife in this year’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

“It’s crazy to think that the first thing that got me started is now kind of like my ending point in high school,” Giltner said. “The show has always been a favorite of mine. My role and the whole rehearsal process and everything: I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Though, Giltner said it took a lot of hard work and honing her craft in order to become successful, both in theater and in other practice areas.

“When I first met Emma, I noticed she had a desire to learn. She had not been taught to sight-read yet, but she was eager to learn,” choir director Ronda Fields said. “Emma would take the music home and practice [to] prepare for rehearsals and performances…most music, she can look at and know what it sounds like by reading the notes.”

Fields has been Giltner’s mentor and choir teacher for four years. With her help, Giltner was able to end her senior year with a spot in the All State Honor Choir. She was chosen out of 176 students as a part of the top four.

“I cry when I watch her perform. It’s the most beautiful thing to watch someone you love [doing] something that they love,” senior Sophia Giltner, Emma’s twin, said. “I would watch her perform all day every day if I could.

Sophia was the choreographer behind Timberland’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’

“My major is going to be a BFA [in] musical theatre,” Emma said. “My dream school is Texas state, but my more realistic dream school is SEMO in Cape Girardeau Missouri.”

Emma Giltner was also recently cast in the Stages’ production of ‘Frozen’, and is playing the role of Anna. The play opens to the public in December at the Kent Center for Theater Arts.

Giltner said that she is proud of who she is, and  thankful for those who have supported her on her journey.