Spotlight on Hannah Oertwig

How long have you been performing on stage? My very first show ever was through Yorba Linda Spotlight. I was 8 years old and have been performing for about 8 years now. My older sister introduced me to musical theatre and sparked my passion for performing. Once Upon A Mattress will be my 22nd stage production.

What was your first show with Yorba Linda Spotlight? My very first show with Spotlight was the first time they did Beauty And The Beast back in 2009. My older sister encouraged me to try out and it was my first time ever being on a stage. Once Upon A Mattress will be my 16th show with them.

Why do you like performing in shows with Yorba Linda Spotlight? I love performing with Spotlight because it truly is not like any other company. Spotlight’s quality of shows is not your average community theatre company. I love coming to honestly my second home because of how encouraging and supportive the environment is. Theatre can be very competitive at times and it’s nice to know that we are all there for each other. Also, I love how professional Spotlight is while we continue to have crazy amounts of fun. In every show, I’m always improving and continue to learn new things.

What is your dream role? I would absolutely love to play Penny Pingleton in Hairspray and Yonah in Children Of Eden. I would also like to play Audrey in Little Shop Of Horrors. Each of these roles sound great and interesting in their own ways and I would love to portray them.

Of the roles that you’ve played, which has been your favorite? My first lead ever was in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown and I was Sally Brown. That was such a fun role that I would love to play again! Also, I really enjoyed playing Andrea Devereaux in Once On This Island. But, playing Queen Aggravain right now in Once Upon A Mattress is definitely going to be in my favorite roles. I love how over the top she is and it’s super fun to be the villain.

Has Spotlight helped you grow as a performer? If so, how? Spotlight has not only helped me grow as a performer but as a person. Their guidance and training has helped me improve in all areas. I have taken various drama and theatre classes that taught me the basics of acting. I have taken weekly voice lessons for years through Spotlight and I have improved immensely. I have taken many dance classes and continue to grow in my abilities. They have taught me the definition of teamwork, determination, and encouragement.

What do you like to do when you’re not performing? I am very involved at my school, El Dorado High School. I am actively involved in EDHS choral music program and theatre department. When I’m not performing at Spotlight or school, I am usually creating makeup looks or hanging out with friends.

If you could choose a show for Spotlight to produce, what would it be and why? I would love for Spotlight to produce Children Of Eden! I have been fortunate enough to have done that show already through my school. I just love the simplicity, story, and gorgeous music. I know Spotlight would do a wonderful job. Some other shows I would love them to put on are Curtains, Catch Me If You Can, Bonnie and Clyde, Little Shop Of Horrors, and Les Miserables.

What are your strongest and weakest traits as a performer? I would consider myself a stronger singer and actress. I have always loved to sing and think it comes most naturally to me. I have definitely improved through vocal lessons at Spotlight. Dancing is probably my weakest trait. I’m not a horrible dancer, but it is what I’m least comfortable with. However, weekly dance classes have definitely helped me and now I’m focusing on tap. I am constantly improving and learning new things.

Of Spotlight’s past shows, which has been your favorite and why? I loved Once On This Island because of how unique it was. It had such a beautiful story, gorgeous music, and fun dance numbers. I also really enjoyed Shrek and Hairspray. They were both very energetic and upbeat shows!

Anything else you want to say? I would like to say how thankful I am for Yorba Linda Spotlight! They have shaped me into the performer and person I am today. They have supplied me with so many wonderful opportunities, lifelong friends, and an abundance of memories I will cherish forever. Through their guidance and support, I continue to learn and improve in every way. I would have never guessed I would be so passionate about theatre and performing as I am today!

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