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Community Spotlight: Rebecca Fahning

By Ginny Butsch posted 07-24-2018 11:37


One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview.

Our next spotlight is Rebecca Fahning, the theatre teacher and troupe director at Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, home to Thespian Troupe 6125. Rebecca is a lifelong advocate of theatre, having studied acting, performance, tech theatre, and directing at Webster University Jr. Conservatory, and Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri. She earned her BFA at University of Texas at Austin. She has been performing, teching, or teaching theatre all of her life and wouldn’t have it any other way!


Why do you believe theatre is important?


I believe theatre is important because it combines so many art disciplines into one, and allows the greatest number of people the most ways to express themselves. It also allows artists and audiences to identify with literature at a personal level. There are so many reasons theatre is important, but the bottom line is that it’s good for society, it’s good for individuals, and it’s good for artists.

Invisible Man, a Radio Show, Fall 2017

What is the resource you most recommend to others in your profession?


The resource I most recommend to others in my profession is friendship with teachers outside of my curriculum. I am so glad to work with my peers who teach different subjects because it gives the students extra opportunities for cross-curricular learning. I’m also able to demonstrate to students that I am a lifelong learner, and that collaboration can be fun with friends!


Do you have any tips for new theatre teachers?


The best advice I got my first year teaching was, don’t quit! The first year of admin, students, and parents getting used to you is hard, but it gets better! Not only don’t quit the job, but don’t quit pushing boundaries, don’t quit having the highest expectations of your students, and don’t quit sharing how much you love theatre. On my toughest days I still remind myself of this advice.


What is the weirdest stage food you’ve ever made or eaten?


Tapioca pudding. I hate tapioca pudding.


What inspired you to become a teacher?


I was inspired to become a teacher by my experiences with my teachers, who never failed to tell me they believed in me. I owe much of my success to those teachers, and I want to provide that same support for my students.

Jackson Bourgon, Foley Artist, Invisible Man, a Radio Show


Tell us about the moment that made you decide to get involved in theatre.


One of my counselors in college suggested I take a theatre class “just, you know, for the fun of it.” Looking back, she saw all A’s in my transcript in all my theatre related classes, and knew where I would be happiest. I had decided, based on advice, that I would choose a more sensible program of study than theatre. So, I took an intro to theatre class, and one day, as the teacher was discussing travel, he said; “I was standing onstage, as I am sure you will one day…” I don’t remember anything else he said that day, I just remember that I was determined to be involved in theatre from that day forward.


Everyone has at least one good theatre story. Tell us yours!


I played Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol. During the last scene, when The Cratchit Family and Scrooge are sitting down to dinner, the bench I built in tech class broke. Since it was the last scene of the play, and all had been resolved, I jumped to my feet, and shouted, “It’s a Christmas Miracle! God Bless Us, Everyone!”

 Troupe 6125, Desert Pines Theatre Warm Ups


How do you relax after a busy day?


After a busy day, my favorite way to relax is to chill at home with my family, and enjoy each other’s company.


What is your proudest accomplishment?


My proudest accomplishment is graduating from college. I went to college late in life, because I didn’t have the opportunity earlier. My mother, my husband, and my two girls got to see me walk across the stage and accept my diploma. They all supported me, watched me struggle, and saw me overcome obstacles to get there, and they know it’s possible to succeed no matter the barriers.


What toy do you most remember from your childhood?


I had a Ms. Beasley doll that I loved with all my heart.


If you enjoyed Rebecca’s interview as much as we did, add her as a contact in the Community. You can learn more about Rebecca’s students and even help them achieve a goal by clicking here.

Do you know someone who deserves a moment in the Spotlight? Tell me their name and why at Want to read more Community Spotlights? You can find them here.