Entertainment

The man behind the arts

Director Paul Tischer leads members of the Modesto Performing Arts during rehearsal for their upcoming production of "Babes in Toyland" at Johansen High School in Modesto on Monday November 18, 2013.
Director Paul Tischer leads members of the Modesto Performing Arts during rehearsal for their upcoming production of "Babes in Toyland" at Johansen High School in Modesto on Monday November 18, 2013. Modesto Bee

Name: Paul Tischer

Home base: Modesto

What you do: I am the artistic director for Modesto Performing Arts. As such, I manage this community theater, including selecting the shows, casting the various roles, and directing the shows.

Sometimes I also do the choreography. I also do much of the set designs and all of the lighting designs.

I do all of the set construction, which is pretty much a year-round job for the big musicals. I also handle much of the company’s business.

How you knew: I have always been interested in the theater, ever since I was a very young child. I was born into it. Born and raised in San Francisco, I started doing performances in grammar school, then junior high school, and high school, and – of course – college. I attended San Francisco State University.

I started teaching drama at Modesto High School in 1965, where I stayed until I retired 45 years later.

I started Modesto Performing Arts in 1968 (then known as Modesto Youth Theater) and it is now celebrating its 48th year with this summer’s productions of “The Music Man” and “Guys and Dolls.” In November we will revise our production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Summer of 2016 we will present “Oklahoma!” and “Bye Bye Birdie.”

Go ahead, brag: We have received numerous awards for our productions — including awards for directing, set design, lighting design, choreography and best musical ( for “42nd Street”) – over the years for more than 90 productions.

Previous performers in our productions include Robert Ulrich (Hollywood casting director), Melanne Wyatt (YES Company director) and Jeremy Stolle (currently on Broadway in “Phantom of the Opera”) and many others. Modesto Hugh School renamed its auditorium the Paul F. Tischer Theatre in 2007.

Check you out: MPA’s production of “Guys & Dolls” opens 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Foster Family Theater at the Gallo Center for the Arts. Shows run 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14-15 and 2 p.m. Aug. 16. For tickets, call 209-338-2100.

Online: www.modestoperformingarts.com

Are you an area artist or entertainer? Want to be part of Monday Spotlight? Email mrowland@modbee.com.

  Comments