Xavier thespian spurs growth at alma mater

By: Zenab Saeed ~Staff Writer~

Katie Geckle, a theology major graduating in December, is exploring the world of theater in an impressive and unique way: as McAuley High School’s theater director and teacher.
An alumna of the Cincinnati high school, Geckle once again became involved in McAuley’s theater program last year when the school was in need of a director for its spring musical and approached her for the job after she had assisted in its fall play. After she directed her first solo show, “Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” the school offered Geckle a position.

Beauty and the Beast - wikipedia dot org
Geckle will direct “Beauty in the Beast” at McAuley this spring

Geckle recently finished working on McAuley’s fall play, John O’Brien’s “Break a Leg!” and is working to grow the theater program at McAuley. Since she started there, McAuley rejoined the Cappies of Greater Cincinnati, a program that promotes the growth of theater and writing education in high school students. In the spring, Geckle will direct Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at McAuley.

“While directing at an all-girls school comes with its fair share of challenges, I love that I get to be back at my alma mater doing what I love where it all started,” Geckle said. Theater has always been a part of Geckle’s life. She participated in small community shows when she was growing up and joined McAuley’s theater program when she was a student there, participating in its plays and musicals and developing her love for all things theatre. During the fall of her senior year, she was the student director of a production and decided to reprise her role as student director for the spring show.

“There was something different about directing that I loved so much. It was then that I knew that I wanted to continue to study theater when I went to school,” Geckle said. “I honestly don’t know that I had any real intention of really pursuing a career in theater, but I knew that I loved it. There is something incredibly real and beautiful about the theater, especially when teaching and working with high school students, those who have a hunger to learn, become and share something with each other.

It is amazing watching them grow throughout a show, not only in their characters but also in themselves. “As cheesy as it may sound, there is something about the theater that makes all people come alive. And I have also loved my time at Xavier that has allowed me to really
explore the art and tolearn all of its depths and techniques,” Geckle said. “Each day I go to class, I am amazed by all that I discover and how it helps me in what I can do with my own students.

Katie Geckle - facebook dot com
Senior Katie Geckle will return to McAuley’s theater program as a director

In recent months I have come to discover some incredibly connections between what I am studying in theology and the work and study I do in theatre. Maybe what I love most about theater is that there are almost always new discoveries to be made,” Geckle said. After graduating in January, Geckle will be teaching the school’s drama, technical theater and speech classes as well as directing different productions.

“I plan on continuing to be open to the doors God seems tobe opening on my journey. I hope to attend grad school in the near future. I will continue teaching for a little while, as long as the opportunity presents itself, because I have come to love it. In the future, I hope to do some mission work or further pursue theatre education or production management,” Geckle said.