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Meet Amy Hohulin, Director of "Dinner at Eight, Dead by Nine" and "Into the Woods Jr."

Introduce yourself to us! Where and what do you teach?

Hi! I am Amy Hohulin. I am a wife and mother to two young boys. I am originally from South Florida, but have been in Houston since 2009, and directing in the Stageworks Academy since the summer of 2016. During the school year, I also teach freshman musical theatre at HSPVA through TUTS' Community Engagement Program. In the evenings I offer virtual acting lessons with a focus on acting through song, monologue work, and audition prep.

What classes will you be working on this summer at Stageworks?

This summer I get to work with 10-15 year olds on "Dinner at Eight" and "Into the Woods Jr."

How did you get into theatre?

I have been heavily involved in theatre since High School. After I graduated high school I began volunteering as an assistant director there while I pursued a degree in Psychology. After a year of directing teens, I knew that was what I was meant to do with my life, and I switched my major to Theatre. After graduating and moving to Houston, I began teaching Middle and High School Theatre and got plugged in at Stageworks. After the birth of my first son, I stepped back from teaching full time, but have continued to work in the academy at Stageworks.

How has the classroom changed (besides the obvious - masks).

We've had an opportunity to show the adaptability and problem-solving skills of the theatre community as we pivoted to virtual offerings when the pandemic began. These summer shows will be my first foray back into in-person teaching in over a year, so I am excited to see what the summer holds!

What advice would you give to aspiring actors?

Don't be afraid to take risks. Especially in rehearsal. This is the time to make bold choices, and try things out. Sometimes they won't work. That's Ok! I'd rather see a massive belly flop in rehearsal than someone dipping their toe in the shallow end of the pool.

What advice would you give to parents of young aspiring actors?

You are such an integral part of their success. Your willingness to provide them opportunities to explore and learn, get them to rehearsal on time, give them gentle reminders to get off Tik Tok and learn their lines- not only supports the work we are doing in the theatre- but helps to give your students the confidence to pursue their passions, knowing you are behind them 100%. We couldn't do this without you!

What is it about theatre students that always surprises you?

How they always rise to the occasion. I have witnessed some messy techs come together into the most beautiful performances. I have seen students struggle to overcome a creative block, finally just take a chance and smash their self-imposed barriers.I am inspired by my students daily!

Do you still like to perform? If so, what is your dream role?

Yes! It's not always easy to carve out the time with two kiddoes at home- but I do love performing! Dream role is too hard to narrow down to one. The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, Ida from Honk!, Golde or Tseital from Fiddler on the roof (depending on age of the cast) and literally any character in In the Heights. That one is my DREAM SHOW.

What's your favorite show to watch?

Come From Away was GORGEOUS, and brilliant from a technical and direction standpoint.

What is the most misunderstood role in theatre?

Probably the stage manager. I don't think many people understand the critical role of a stage manager when it comes to the success of a show. They juggle SO much- and the best stage managers make it look easy!

What would your students say about you?

I think they'd say I am super cheesy, and that "let's run it one more time" never means one more time. I hope they'd say that I hold them to a high standard, am a straight shooter, and that I push them to do their best, and believe in them always. Do you have a avorite Stageworks memory?

2 favorite memories. One is doing a flashmob at Vintage Park of "One Day More" to promote our production of Les Miserables. Second is the beautiful baby shower the cast of Damn Yankees threw me when I was pregnant during that production. We were already running the show and I was called in early to work a particular scene but it was all a ruse. It was so special to experience such a tangible example of how Stageworks becomes family.

What should we have asked you that we didn't?

What is your favorite thing about Stageworks? How family-oriented it is. I have performed and directed pregnant and with kids in tow. Most summers, my oldest son spent more time at the theatre than anywhere else (except home). It is a space where people can come together, and create amazing, quality art- without having to sacrifice their family life. I love that there is a high standard for the instruction and work being done, but that doesn't come at the cost of an edifying and encouraging environment. It is a safe space to learn and grow!

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