Sunday, September 28, 2003

Theater veteran enters hall of fame

Ginny Chizer
Congratulations to Ginny Chizer, who goes to Minneapolis this week to be installed in the Educational Theater Association's International Hall of Fame.

Mike Peitz, executive director of Cincinnati-headquarters ETA, will also be inducted.

"I was blown away," Chizer says of the honor.

Chizer is hardly a surprising choice.

She joined the local chapter of ETA's International Thespian Society as a student in 1948. "I think I may be the oldest living active member," she laughs.

She taught English, speech and theater at Oak Hills High School for 25 years and was inducted into the Ohio Educational Theatre Association's Hall of Fame seven years ago.

She'll co-direct (with Dan Doerger) this year's All-State Ohio Thespian show, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, which will bring together students from across the state. Auditions are in December, rehearsals take place over the holiday weekends this winter, and the musical will be performed at Mason High School in April.

Chizer is active in ACT-Cincinnati (she's a winner of ACT's Art Rouse Award) and Ohio Community Theatre Association and still manages to usher at three theaters (and she has season tickets to three more).

She travels to ETA mini-conferences in other states and hasn't missed an ETA national conference since she began attending in 1981. Her commitment to ETA, she says, is easy to explain.

"I get to work with wonderful people, that's what I love."

For the past few years, in addition to taking on every job she's wheedled into, Chizer has been a director in the New Works program that features scripts from around the world.

Chizer will squeeze the Hall of Fame ceremony between a busy community theater schedule.

She's just wrapped Morning's at Seven and started rehearsals for Inspecting Carol at her home theater, The Drama Workshop.

Between educational and community theater productions, Chizer estimates "I'm creeping up to about 100 - and I'm creeping up there, too."

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