Community Spotlight: Scott Piehler

By Ginny Butsch posted 04-15-2014 13:12


One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We plan to shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview.

Our first Spotlight Member is Scott Piehler, troupe director of Troupe 6745 at Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn, GA. He’s been a positive presence in the Community, offering prompt and helpful advice and opinions on a range of topics, including technical theatre, play selection and advocacy. I asked Scott to answer a few questions for us so we could learn a little more about him.                  

Image via Purcellville Pinball

Ginny: First, tell us about the moment that made you decide to get involved in theatre.

Scott: I grew up in New Hampshire. The Granite State is overflowing with summer stock and community theatre. I remember being awed by a local production as a child, and then being thrilled to play Jack Pumpkinhead as a third grader. When I entered the New Hampton School, I was blessed to train under Van McLeod and his artist-in-residence program. Van is now the Commissioner of the NH Dept. of Cultural Resources. I stepped away from the stage for a while, but when I started volunteering for my daughter’s Elementary plays, it eventually led me to my current position. (She is now a college freshman.) I truly credit my time away from the stage for making me the director I am today. I am able to call upon a broad range of disciplines. Very useful when running a one-man department!

Ginny: Why do you believe theatre is important?

Scott: For me, it’s very basic, and very practical. It’s what I tell my students and their parents: Whatever it is you plan to do, be it at-home parent, salesperson, retail clerk, preacher, doctor, performer, or CEO, at some point in your life you will have to stand in front of another person and convince them of something.  Nothing prepares you for that like theatre.

Ginny: Any tips for new theatre teachers?

Scott: R-E-L-A-X. My fellow faculty members always comment on how relaxed I seem during show week, and how fairly unstressed the cast and crew is. These are called plays, we should be having fun. We may be making a statement, but we’re not curing cancer here. Maybe it’s my radio background. Until the show starts, we’re not late. And ultimately, the show is not about me. A good friend once told me a manager has only three jobs: cheerleader, bulldozer, and umbrella. That is to say we encourage, clear obstacles, and shield our performers from distraction. When the curtain goes up, my job is over. It’s their turn.

Ginny: What would you define as your proudest accomplishment?

Scott: My marriage. In September, I will celebrate 27 years with my wife, Tamar. We were high school sweethearts, then on-again, off-again, then married in our early ‘20s. I can’t imagine life without her.

Ginny: Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of theatre?

Scott: I am a freelance voice over artist. If you go to Historic Speedwell in Morristown, NJ, you will find an exhibit that features me as the voice of Alfred Vail, the co-creator of the telegraph.

Ginny: What is something we would be surprised to learn about you?

Scott: I am probably the best pinball player you know. 1993 Atlanta PAPA Division B Champion, proud owner of a 1990 Williams Riverboat Gambler, and absolutely addicted to Farsight Studios “Pinball Arcade” on my iPad.

When Scott isn’t playing pinball, teaching, serving as the voice of historical figures, or spending time with his family, he also publishes his own blog on theatre and stagecraft, which I found very thought-provoking, specifically one entry, “Tenacity Trumps Talent.”  If you enjoyed Scott’s interview, I’d encourage you to check out his blog and add him as a contact in the Community to learn more!

1 comment



04-21-2014 11:52

I love this idea!! Thank you Scott for being so involved in Community! What a great blog!