- Teacher blog
Heilicher Art Teacher Aimee Orkin Visits Heilicher Alumna Deanna Weiner on the Set of Hamilton
In mid-October, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit New York City and see Hamilton - with a backstage tour arranged and conducted by Heilicher alumna Deanna Weiner. Since 2012, Deanna has worked on Broadway as the Assistant Stage Manager for the production.
Deanna was a student of mine many years ago at Heilicher (then the Minneapolis Jewish Day School), and I first taught her when she was in fifth grade. Even back then, Deanna was an effusive, passionate, articulate and artistic student. She would easily talk to adults and had a passion for art and theater. After graduating from Barnard College, Deanna had what she terms a "lucky break" and has worked on nine Broadway shows over the ensuing decade including Wicked and Matilda. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to reconnect with Deanna and see the poised and successful young woman that she has become!
After the production of Hamilton (which I absolutely loved!), Deanna met me warmly at the stage door, with electric purple and black hair and a dazzling smile. She showed me her perch where she "calls the show on" speaker headphones, managing actors, lights, and the stage crew, and never missing a beat to ensure a top-notch production. Deanna's job is to make sure that Hamilton runs smoothly, and given the seamless performance we witnessed, she clearly is exemplary in this role.
I am so proud of the person that Deanna has become - a poised, confident, and successful 31-year old with a dream of continuing to work in theater and ultimately to direct productions. As a teacher, this was truly a "peak" experience for me, and a tribute to a creative young woman who had the vision to pursue her dream. Mazel Tov, Deanna, and thank you for welcoming your middle school art teacher back to see your fascinating work!
After graduation, Heilicher alumna Simone P. encountered an uncomfortable situation at basketball camp. She decided to take a brave step to educate the camp about Jewish history related to an unintentional, yet offensive, long-standing camp practice.
As a gift to her eighth-grade class for graduation, Ms. Weiss gathered student reflections and crafted them into a poem. These words of inspiration will stay with her students for years to come.
This spring Heilicher welcomed Lynn Lyons, a psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to speak to the community about "How to Break the Worry Cycle." Heilicher alumna Ruthie P. shares her thoughts on the night in a recent article in The Echo, St. Louis Park High School's newspaper.