St. Luke's Theatre.
Kelly Choi: What made you want to become a theatre teacher?
Andrea Ottolino: I love theatre and how it helps someone become more confident and well spoken. I wanted to help students see their potential and tap into their creative side.
KC:   What makes a theatre teacher successful?
AO:   Someone with a passion for the arts and lots of energy!
KC:   How did you come to decide to choose "Puffs" for the Fall performance?
AO:   We wanted to do a comedy this year that students could relate to. Puffs fit the bill perfectly!
KC:   What were your biggest challenges directing "Puffs?
AO:   This show had many, many props and lots of stage blocking at a fast pace.
KC:   How did you carry out casting for Puffs?
AO:   Students audition for the parts that interest them most. I decide then who fits the character best.
KC:   Tell us a little bit about the tech team, decorations, etc. (behind the scenes folks)
AO:   I have a class that is just about production. These are the students that make the set look good, do all the sound cues, and lighting for the show. By showtime, I just get to sit back and watch. The tech students do all of it! It takes a lot of work and practice!
KC:   Tell us a little bit about the rehearsals.
AO:   We start with blocking the scenes which is learning where and when to move on the stage. Learning the lines and using the props is the next step. Finally putting it all together with lighting and sound cues and costumes. These students put in time after school as well. Many come from other practices (like sports, outside activities) to ours. These are dedicated students!
KC:   How do you stay motivated to continue to entertain us with EXCEPTIONAL performances?
AO:   I love what I do! But the students are my biggest motivation! Working with them and seeing the excitement of a new challenge keeps me going.
KC:   What are your future goals for this program?
AO:   Bigger and Better! Honestly, the students have already exceeded where I thought we would be for such a young program. We do two main shows a year plus Trumbauer Theatre competition. I do have a dream of doing a school wide musical that includes students from elementary, middle and high school.
KC:   What's next for you?
AO:   I am just getting our school's Speech and Debate team started this year and hope to grow it next year. I am also looking at doing a Middle School musical.