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Actor Interview: Lisel Gorell-Getz talks about the importance of arts education

Lisel Gorell-Getz  in "Detroit" at the San Diego Rep
Lisel Gorell-Getz in "Detroit" at the San Diego Rep
San Diego Repertory Theatre

Lisel Gorell-Getz is a San Diego actress currently performing in “Detroit” at the San Diego Rep. When she is not treading the boards at the San Diego Rep, or the Moxie Theatre, or the La Jolla Playhouse, or the North Coast Rep, you can see her promoting something else that she dearly love, theatre education and children.

When she is not busy acting Lisel is also the Director of Education at MOXIE Theatre and is a teaching artist for the Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse. “I have a background as a teaching artist as well, and I work as a teaching artist at the Old Globe and also as a teaching artist at the La Jolla Playhouse in their education department. I also run the education program at Moxie, which means I offer classes to the community, I teach theatre classes, we work on developing audiences for matinees, student groups and that sort of thing. My other is as an teaching artist at the Old Globe and they have a museum educators school in the park program which is a really cool program.”

So what is it that drew her to theatre education? “I have kids myself so I feel, not just because I want my kids to have access to arts, but I feel every kid should have access to arts education. Theatre needs to be part of the regular curriculum, it needs to be available to all students, ethnic and economic backgrounds and of course arts are one of the first things that gets cut when education programs get cut.”

Lisel’s love for theatre, and her appreciation of it in San Diego started when she first moved out here in 1999. “I had friends who lived in San Diego and decided to live in San Diego for a bit and drive to LA. Why would I ever leave San Diego? This place is great! There is lots of theatre here, there are a lot of people who work together to make really cool theatre here so I thought I’d rather stay here and make my life here.”

But the way Lisel feels about San Diego theatre is exactly why she is so passionate about kids being involved in theatre. “I like how everyone (in San Diego) really collaborates in really unique ways. Theatre in some ways is competitive, but if feels like to me, in San Diego that they kind of like a family. Everyone knows each other; everybody works at one theatre but also works at another theatre and works on different projects together on different things. So it’s kind of cool that your circles intersect in a way.”

This is an aspect that Lisel thinks is a great lesson for kids to learn.
“I’m not trying to make them into young superstars, but I want to encourage them to think creatively and collaboratively which is what art does. It makes you do things in a totally different way and not in a “in the box” kind of way. Theatre isn’t about being a star on stage or just listening to the director. Although you have to have a good performance and a good director, but having those two elements aren’t enough. You have to have the designers, the writers; there is no play without a playwright! Every person is vital to the whole of the piece. That is my soap box, but that’s how I feel about theatre.”

I couldn’t agree more. If you want to see her in “Detroit” at the San Diego Repertory through March 16th 2014. Performances are Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 8 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Lyceum Space San Diego REPertory Theatre 79 Horton Plaza San Diego, Calif. 92101-6144 San Diego REP Box Office (619) 544-1000. Tickets available for purchase online at

Four hours free parking in the Horton Plaza Garage with validation at the theatre. When you are seeing the show, or want to talk about it afterwards don't forget to use the official hashtag is #DetroitSDREP

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