AMOS & CELIA HEILICHER MINNEAPOLIS JEWISH DAY SCHOOL

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!



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