Enjoy reading about the wonderful community that has developed around this annual event.
Rachel Harry – life lessons through theater and following one’s passion
Out of the glitz and glamour of Broadway came an announcement last June that was both heartwarming and local. Rachel Harry, a drama teacher at Hood River Valley High School, had received the Tony Award for Excellence in Theater Education. Although she had been nominated the year before, it came as a complete surprise to her—but not to those who knew her.
Her involvement with the theater began when she was six-years-old—she was always singing, dancing, acting, etc. “I’m not showing off,” she told her older siblings, “I’m performing!” She has been teaching at Hood River for three decades, pouring herself not just into her productions (and they drip with her enthusiastic guidance), but into her students. They are her biggest fans, staying in touch long after they’ve graduated.
By its very nature, the theater demands inclusion, cooperation, responsibility, and coming to grips with one’s emotions—even when it’s simply playing a role. “This is powerful medicine for the teenager,” Rachel muses, “and I am passionate about teenagers. What a glorious time in one’s life! I want to make a contribution to our world, and this is where I can do my best work.”
For Rachel Harry, art requires creativity and the confidence that comes from outside-the-box thinking, even when the results are a few lumps and bruises. Here is her mantra:
- To be creative, one must be a risk taker.
- To be a risk taker, one must not be afraid of failure. If you’re going to make a mistake, make a BIG mistake.
- To not be afraid of failure means you understand that failure is not the end, in fact, failure is the beginning.
Is it any wonder the proper words of encouragement before a performance is “Break a leg!”?
Feeling called to be part of the TEDx team—by name even!—Ted Moeller is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces (a paratrooper chaplain) to plant a church in Vancouver, Washington. Ted loves the Pacific Northwest—its coffee, microbrews, sports teams, even its weather! In addition to being a pastor he is also a professor at Concordia University. Formerly, he was a high school basketball coach, a disk jockey, and co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (in 1988, sharing it with 35,000 other peacekeepers!). He married Patricia Chylla of Bloomfield Hills, MI, a third of a century ago. They have two children, Laura and Rebecca, and a Labrador named Kona.