Lutheran High School West News Article

A Midsummer Night's Dream and Lutheran West's Family Tradition of Theatre

by Debi Albrecht '85, Alumni Director

Lutheran West Drama will perform Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Friday and Saturday, November 19th and 20th. This production happens to be the 30th anniversary of the first time LHSW performed the same play under the direction of Mrs. Marti Muth. Not only are we celebrating this 30th anniversary, we are also celebrating the tradition of theatre at Lutheran West, as three of our current cast members have parents that also performed in the 1991 production. 

In the 1991 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Charity (Osborn) Hanchuk ’92 played the female lead as Titania, Queen of the Fairies. Charity’s daughter, Noelle ‘23, is also playing Titania, in her junior year just like her mom. Noelle’s love of theatre began when she had the lead role in the 4th grade Christmas program and sang a solo. Additional opportunities at St. Paul Lutheran, such as the Speech Super Bowls, Spring Flings, and participating in Chapel Services cultivated Noelle’s talent. As a Lutheran West student, Charity performed in as many shows as her time would permit beginning in her freshman year. Marti Muth had a profound effect on her students, always calling for their best efforts in the classroom and on stage. Charity remembers the high expectations Marti had and wanting to make her proud. Charity is currently in her 25th year of teaching. She is the Math and Honors Algebra teacher at Brunswick Middle School. 


Danielle (Deutsch) Stanaczyk ’94 was cast as Puck—a role typically played by a male—as a freshman. She was awarded Marti Muth’s ‘Actor of the Year’ award for her role. Her fondest memory was Puck’s tree, an enormous, eight-foot-tall structure, built—unbeknownst to Danielle at the time—by her future husband Joshua (’94). He also ran lights and sound for the show. This is the same way their son, Ethan ’22, made his first foray into theatre—running lights and sound for drama productions and more. In this year’s production, Ethan will play Oberon, King of the Fairies. One of the things the Stanaczyks love most about Lutheran West is the opportunity students have to be involved in multiple activities. Ethan is a two-sport athlete and a thespian. Josh is the Family Support Liaison for Life Banc and recently promoted to include AOC (Administrator on Call) to his responsibilities. Danielle was the director of Bethany Lutheran’s preschool program for nine years. She was hired this school year by St. Paul Lutheran as their Student Success Tutor and Advocate. Danielle has also been an adjunct professor at both Cuyahoga and Lorain Community Colleges. 


LaVonne Urban ’92 played Helena, daughter of Nedar and smitten with Demetrius. She treasures the friendships developed during play practices, which still last today. As she watches her son, senior Jacob Speicher ’22, participate in Lutheran West Drama, she is grateful that it helps him to develop his confidence and find his ‘tribe.’ This fall, Jacob plays Demetrius, who is engaged to Hermia. Because of Marti Muth’s belief in her, LaVonne applied and received a Theater Scholarship to The College of Wooster, making her the first in her family to graduate from college. Marti stretched students to take risks and become more than they previously thoug
ht possible. LaVonne put this to good use as she partnered with Dr. Michael Yerukhim to start an ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery practice, of which LaVonne is the COO. Concurrently, LaVonne is a psychotherapist, specializing in working with children in trauma situations.

Theatre demands a wide range of talents and skills, from singing, to dancing, to being strong enough to hold up costume props! Our thriving drama program calls students from every sphere of our school. 

2021 also marks the 20th anniversary of another production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a 2001 play directed by alumnus and current faculty member Kurt Maechner ’95.

Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed on The Jochum Performing Arts Center stage on Friday and Saturday, November 19-20, at 7:30 PM each evening. Tickets are now on sale here.

Photos from the 1991 production (courtesy LaVonne Urban '92):

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