Webster University Student and Secretary for Daddy Warbucks Would Love to Perform on Broadway
Colby Dunn, junior at Webster U. has a major part in the Variety Club's Children's Theater show at the Touhill.
Colby Dunn, 20, of Ladue is a woman on a mission. A 2010 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy, Dunn has held all the big parts in the big shows at school and elsewhere. The end of this month, she begins her junior year at Webster University, enrolled in course work that includes dance, Jazz III, Ballet II and Tap II “If enough students sign up for the course.”
She gets her God-given talents from her mother Johanna Dunn, gardener, former professional model and make up artist. “My mom bought me my first piano when I guess I was around six years old. Until then, I was busy playing my keyboard.”
Her first big break comes October 26-28 when she plays a starring role at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis for the Variety Club Children’s Theater. “I am so excited about that. I play the part of Grace, the secretary for Daddy Warbucks. We will be playing our parts with children who have real disabilities who otherwise wouldn’t have these opportunities.”
Dunn, who has waited tables at First Watch in Clayton since she was 16 years old wants to make a living by performing. “I would love to get a chance to perform on Broadway some day,” she said. Her present goal is to master a wide variety of genres.
For instance, she sings opera, does dance, plays the piano and writes her own lyrics. “I think I’ve already written about 35 original pieces,” she said.
Often, she was the big fish in the small pond at St. Joe. She was the sour kangaroo in “Seussical,” she was in the “Smile” chorus and had a featured singing role in “St. Joe Goes Broadway,” and played the lead Toffee in “Zombie Prom.”
So many people have been instrumental in her success. Brandon Williams was the music director at Ladue Middle School who told her in the eighth grade to reach for the stars and absolutely go out and do what you want.
Debby Lennon has been her voice coach at both St. Joe and Webster U. She studies piano with Carol Beth-True, noted to be the top jazz pianist in St. Louis.
At Webster U. she sings lyric soprano in the opera the Medium by Menotti.
Dunn has one sister, two brothers. Her sister Cassie, 21, is an English major at Mizzou and the two performed together in theater and chorus in high school. Her older brother Robert “Duffy” Dunn, 33, is a St. Louis banker and Kieran Dunn, 30 works for an online computer company in Chicago. Her dad, Robert Dunn is an executive in the insurance industry.
Where it goes from here is unknown. “I’d like to get a job wherever I can.”She grew up admiring the talents of Billy Joel and hopes to emulate opera star Renee Fleming some day Or she would like to style herself after British pop singer Adele or bubbly blonde performer Kristin Chenoweth.
Remember the name Colby Dunn, a big time musical career could definitely be in the making.