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Theatre of Western Springs Spotlight: Liz Steele

Liz Steele | Submitted by The Theatre of Western Springs

Get to know the community of Western Springs with our Theatre of Western Springs Spotlight feature!

This week, we meet Liz Steele of Western Springs who joined originally joined TWS back in 1972 as a child.

Q. How did you find out about TWS?

A. I found out about the Theatre of Western Springs through my experience with the Children’s Theatre of Western Springs. My siblings and I all took part in the wonderful children’s theatre program. I began back in 1972 and continued with it through my senior year in high school. While I was in the children’s theatre, I was lucky enough to be involved with a couple of the adult theatre shows.

Q. What year did you join TWS?

A. I came back to TWS as an adult in 1995.

Q. Why did you join TWS?

A. The Theatre of Western Springs has always been a second home to me and my family. After completing my BFA in acting at The Boston University School of Fine Arts Conservatory and acting professionally and non-professionally in various parts of the country, my husband and I moved back to the Western Springs area to raise our children. I knew the first thing I wanted to do was to reconnect with the place that had first given me my love of theatre. Since then our two boys have joined the Children’s Theatre, and my husband has become involved writing music and scoring a few of the shows as well as building specialty props and some of the sets; a true family affair.

Q. Go back in time. When did you discover you had an interest in theatre/drama?

A. I realized I had an interest in the theatre as I sat and watched my siblings perform in The Children’s Theatre of Western Springs. I could not wait to be able to join. It was the only place I wanted to spend time. Our parents have always loved the arts and would often take us to see theatre in Chicago. Thanks, Mom and Dad! My first role was in Kindergarten in a small play called “The Old Woman & the Pig.” I played the old woman. Perhaps it was a small peek into my future since I happily play character roles to this day. No matter how old I get, I still get the same joy when I perform as I did at the age of 5.

Q. At TWS, do you work on crews, backstage and/or front of house?

A. At TWS, I have chaired and worked on many types of backstage and front of house crews throughout the years. Assistant stage managing is one of my favorite things to do. I have also served on the Board of Governors, the artistic and guest director search committees, chaired a few benefits and have been production coordinator for the past 2 1/2 years.

Q. At TWS, do you act on stage?

A. I have been lucky enough to act on both of TWS’s stages. A couple of my favorite roles at TWS have been Alexa Ven De Vere in “As Bees in Honey Drown” and Heidi in “The Heidi Chronicles.” Both roles were an especially wonderful acting challenge, because they both took the audience back through the lives of these women and allowed me to explore the various parts of their lives as an actor.

Q. What do you love about TWS? What is it about TWS that motivates you?

A. One of the main reasons I love TWS is that we all do onstage and offstage work. We are a team. It is a true example of how people of all ages and walks of life come together to do something that they have a passion and respect for. It is incredibly rewarding. We have celebrated our successes, created, cried, laughed a lot, mourned the loss of TWS loved ones and their family members and are there to support one another in our journeys.

Q. Tell about something at TWS that was, is, or will be a really big thrill for you.

A. I would say that one of my biggest thrills about being in TWS is being able to introduce our theatre, its history and its opportunities to new people. There is something for everyone at the theatre. It is an unbelievable place for people to share their interests, delve into a long awaited interest and share their expertise. My next big personal thrill will be whatever role that I am lucky enough to explore with the other cast and crew members. There is always something exciting and new around the corner.

Q. The theatre has flourished for 85 years. Do you want to comment on why?

A. I believe that TWS has flourished for 85 years because of the dedication, hard work and genuine love of the theatre by its volunteers and terrific community that has supported us.

Q. List three things you have given TWS.

A. Time, a sense of commitment and a home for gatherings and parties; we most certainly like to have fun when all the hard work is done.

Q. List three things TWS has given you.

A. An outlet for my passion, a way to give back and, most of all, an unbelievably loving and supportive group of friends and acquaintances.

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