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The Next Generation in Theater and Dance

Emily Hoeppner
Notre Dame Academy

Nickname: Em

Parents: Paula Anne and Allen Hoeppner

What has your involvement with theater and dance looked like?

I have loved performing for as long as I can remember. My music theater journey began at the age of three when I was cast as a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, and I have been hooked ever since! Over the years, I have been lucky enough to participate in nearly 40 productions, playing a variety of roles both on and around the stage. From managing backstage, operating light boards/sound equipment, setting props, or working with hair/makeup plots to dancing with the ensemble or tackling a lead role, I love being a member of the musical theater family, learning and growing with friends and bringing stories to life for an audience — truly, this is what I live for.

Do you plan on doing anything connected to it as an adult?

My goal is to earn a Bachelors of Fine Arts in musical theater and ultimately make a positive difference by bringing the fine arts to life for others for the rest of my life.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve received?

“If you love it, do it, go for it and don’t give up.” This is advice I received from actress Gina Claire Mason when I met her at the stage door after her performance in Wicked as Glinda. It meant a great deal to me that she took the time to share these encouraging words. They have become my mantra and motivation as I work to make my dreams of performing on a Broadway stage a reality.

What advice would you give to other students thinking of starting in theater and dance?

You are one big family, so help others and work hard. It will all be worth it in the end! Also, take the time to enjoy it. Soak up the little moments because it will go by so fast. Be present and have the time of your life.

What is your favorite thing you’ve ever done with theater and dance?

As far as dance goes, it would have to be performing as Young Clara in my first ever Nutcracker with The Dance Company. In my time as a musical theater performer, it’s nearly impossible to choose just one thing! If I really had to pick, I’d probably say being presented with an award for Outstanding Performance as a Supporting Character for my role as Wendy Jo in Notre Dame Academy’s Footloose through the Center Stage Awards, along with performing at the awards show. It was so amazing to meet other musical theater kids from high schools around the area! Another favorite experience is having the opportunity to perform through Next Stage at St. Norbert College. That program has changed the way I look at musical theater and I have learned so much.

What is your first childhood memory?

One of my earliest memories is from my first dance recital. We had to pretend to grow out of a flower pot to the song “Here Comes the Sun.”

Are you a Green Bay Packers fan?

I am not typically a sports-going gal.

Who is your biggest role model?

My parents and my dance and performance instructors and directors! They’ve taught me everything I know.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a hamster farmer and a Disney princess.


TV show: Anne with an E or Stranger Things

Local restaurant: Stella’s

Pizza topping: Pepperoni or pineapple

Guilty pleasure: Sea salt pita chips or raw cookie dough

Candy: Sour Patch Kids

Color: Yellow

Season: Summer

Cookie: Chocolate chip

Go-to snack: Peanut butter chocolate chip protein balls

Each week, City Pages highlights a local student who is involved in arts and entertainment at their school and/or in their community.

Fill out this form for a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue.
Email Janelle Fisher at [email protected] with any questions.


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