Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting to know Steve Koehler, the managing director

Wrapping up the Civic Theatre staff "Getting to know" series is Steve Koehler, the managing director. He was kind enough to take time from his schedule to provide answers to the "Inside the Actors Studio" questions.

Q: What are your favorite words?
A: Thank you – both to say and to hear. I may be making myself sound older than I need to, but it seems that in today's busy world, simple courtesies are far too often overlooked. Theatre worldwide, but in this case specifically at Civic, is filled with many hard-working people who are doing hours of hard work for little to no pay, and often little to no recognition. I cannot begin to express the gratitude I have toward the entire Civic Theatre family. First for welcoming me in so generously, and secondly for all the incredibly hard work you do.

Q: What is your least favorite word?
A: Meeting. Some meetings are wonderfully productive, however most are painful and repetitive.

Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
A: Creativity itself. The thing I love most about my chosen career path is that I am pretty constantly surrounded by creative people. I am not individually incredibly creative, but being placed in a creative group of people really helps get my creative juices flowing. There is no other art form that I could excel at, and the very collaborative nature of theatre is what makes it possible for me to be an artist.

Q: What turns you off?
A: Did I mention meetings? Seriously though, I would say that over-structuring something, making too many "rules" on the process, tends to stifle me. I worked for a few years early in my career at a theme park, corporate theatre at its cheesiest. Although I had a wonderful time working at the park, the very nature of businesspeople running art seems to kill its soul in some way.

Q: What sound or noise do you love?
A: My children laughing.

Q: What sound or noise do you hate?
A: My children crying.

Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A: History teacher or political pundit. One is very useful, the other is just a chance to tell everyone how smart I am, whether I am or not.

Q: What profession would you not like to do?
A: Anything that is always the same. One thing I love about theatre is its temporary nature. As a designer I am usually ready for the next project by opening night. This continues as an administrator and producer; by the time a show opens I am already well onto the next project.

Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
A: "Oh, you shouldn't be here yet, go back for another 20 years or so."

You can contact Managing Director Steve Koehler at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's main office by calling 765-423-PLAY (7529). Or send an e-mail to

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