Profile: Pioneer’s Mia Galbraith “owes her strength to the stage”

Everything Mia Galbraith does today is one step closer to her dream.

“I will not leave this earth until I’ve performed in the Big Apple,” says Galbraith. “I’m working hard so that I can go to college for musical theatre. My life goal is to perform on Broadway – in New York or in Chicago. I hope one day I’ll be directing or producing shows to help other actor’s dreams come true.”

Galbraith takes another step closer to that dream this weekend when she stars in the Pioneer Theatre Guild’s presentation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning debut musical, “In the Heights.” The show begins on Friday, April 21 with additional shows on April 22, 28, 29 and 30 in Schreiber Auditorium.

Galbraith is excited about the musical, which explores the lives and dreams of several small business owners in the predominantly Latin-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. It’s about immigration and the American Dream.

Pioneer junior Mia Galbraith in a fitting with the costumes crew of In the Heights. Photo by M. Ruth Morris

“This show has the ability to reach all people and I think that’s what’s so special about it,” says Mia, the daughter of Michelle and Stephen Galbraith. “Everyone can find themselves in this story.”

Galbraith finds herself playing Daniela, who is “the gossip of the Heights.”

“She’s immigrated from Puerto Rico, and started a unisex hair salon in the barrio,” says Galbraith. “She’s 30, flirty, and thriving! Daniela is very strong and serves as sort of a motherly figure to Carla and Vanessa. She loves her country and forever will miss the warmth of Vega Alta.”

Galbraith’s mom first introduced her to the stage when she was just 7 years old.

“My first performance was in Aesop’s “Fables” when I was 7 with my sister Rhea,” she said. “I didn’t do a show again until I was in the third grade, but that initial opportunity made me really excited to be on stage again. I’ve been so lucky to be exposed to many wonderful theater companies in the area.”

Her stage resume includes “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (Clopin), “The Wizard of Oz” (Dance Ensemble, Tree), and “High School Musical” (Sharpay) all with Pioneer Theatre Guild. She also performed in “A Chorus Line” (Cassie), “Bring It On!” (Danielle), and “The Little Mermaid” (Arista) in community theatre.

At this point in her work, Galbraith considers herself more an actress, but it’s a close call because she loves to sing.

“I’m working to find all parts of my voice, but acting is a little more natural to me,” she says. “I sing more though. Which is good because it means I’m working on my less strong characteristics.”

Galbraith also is a member of the International Thespian Society, and Pioneer’s To The Rescue club. Her other extra-curricular activities include singing in an acapella group called Sha Bop Shoppe and as a member of the Choir Council for the Pioneer Choirs. She also is currently assistant directing Stuart Little at Horizon Performing Arts.

She finds her time on the stage, whether acting or singing, very rewarding.

“I always say I do theatre to make the audience feel something,” she says. “I know I’ve done my job as an actress, when audiences are moved to tears or laughter. Also the confidence building is really unparalleled by all other extracurricular activities. I owe my strength to the stage.”


“In the Heights”
What: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning debut musical, “In the Heights”
When: Saturday, April 21; Sunday, April 22 (matinee, 2 p.m.); Friday, April 28; Saturday, April 29: Sunday, April 30 (matinee, 2 p.m.).
Who: Presented by Pioneer HS Theatre Guild
Where: Schreiber Auditorium, PHS
Tickets: $15 (Adults), $10 (Students, 65+ Seniors), or $50/$100 for the Opening Night Gala. Reserved tickets are available at and also at the door.