District News

LM Drama Dept. led by new faces

Posted on: October 26, 2015

As Little Miami's thespians have been preparing to "trod the boards" for the fall play on Nov. 6-7, they have been led by a new team of directors. Ken and Tara Lydy have brought their extensive theater experience to Little Miami to help open a new chapter for the drama department.

Amid scene building, staging and costume creation, Ken allowed us some time for a question-and-answer session.

Q. What is your theater “pedigree”?

A. My wife and I both have a degree in theater from Wilmington College.  We acted in and worked on numerous shows while in college. A theater degree from Wilmington is a ‘generalist’ degree. We didn’t focus solely on acting.  We learned scene design, make up, stage combat, scene painting, lighting and even worked in the shop constructing sets. Since graduating we’ve continued to act and direct and teach for different entities. We taught in the theater department at Wilmington College teaching stage combat, stage make-up and dramatic literature as well as speech/oral communication. We’ve acted in and directed shows at Wilmington College as well.

We also finished our 16th year working with Clinton County Kids and Company, a program that features summer productions for kids ages 5 on up to high school. We’ve even added adults to shows so kids get an opportunity to act side-by-side with grown actors. We’ve done shows like “Puss in Boots,” “The Reluctant Dragon,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Aladdin,” and “The Snow Queen.” The drama camp is for ages 12-16 and teaches things like stage make up, auditioning, writing, movement, dance, costuming and more. It is designed to give students a chance to learn and grow as actors.

We also work with other areas schools designing costumes, sets or choreographing combat scenes. We’ve recently worked with Wilmington High School’s productions of “Cinderella” (costume and set design), and other shows like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Oliver.” 

We love theater and hope students at Little Miami take the opportunity to audition for shows and experience fine arts both on stage and backstage.  I heard once that education that omits the arts yields but half the knowledge. 

Q. What do you do in your “day” job?

A. My wife and I both work at Wilmington College in Student Affairs. I work with large campus activities and events and she works with orientation and the service program. We work and live in Wilmington.


Ken Lydy (center) leads a recent blocking session with cast members.

Q. What are your favorite types of productions (musicals, drama, comedy, etc.)?

A. I (Ken) enjoy comedies. They are the most difficult productions to do. When done correctly the audience and the actors have a great time. Tara enjoys musicals, especially ones that involve lots of dancing, fun music and costumes. 

We both enjoy pushing actors to be the best they can be on stage. We want students to really dig into the characters they portray on the stage and not simply recite lines from a script.

Q. What is your favorite play or movie?

A. Ken’s Favorite Movie: “Star Wars.” Ken & Tara’s favorite musical: “Phantom of the Opera.” (It was the first Broadway production we watched live). Ken’s favorite playwright: Sam Sheppard. Tara is a big fan of “Pretty Woman” and “The Pirate Movie.” She also likes plays by Tennessee Williams.

Q. What is your vision for the LM drama program?

A. We want students to appreciate theater and all it has to offer. Incorporating the fine arts into education is important for students. 

Q. How could we get more students involved in theater?

A. There is a lot more to theater than acting on the stage. If it were not for the crew and those working behind the scenes, the actors would not be able to do their job. Sort of the way the offensive line works for a quarterback…the reason a quarterback can do what he does, is because the offensive line does what they do. All aspects of the theater are important and students should give the arts a chance. It is a place where they can learn, grow, and express themselves.

Q. Anything else you would like to share?

A. We are both looking forward to re-introducing theatre to the students at Little Miami. We hope to build a program that is supported.