Billy Wolfe

I joined Junior Theatre in 1974 when I was 13. My neighbor Marc Delveaux, five years older than me, was in Junior Theatre, and he recommended to my mom that I join JT since I was so inclined to “hamming it up.” I attended Alan Sharf’s drama workshop on Saturday afternoons. We studied character, motivation, improvisation and pantomime. It was heaven. That summer I tried out for and was cast in my first show, Naughty Naught. I had roles in 15 JT shows total, plus two or three Confetti shows, and worked on the stage crew for six or seven others. During that time I studied acting, musical theater dance, mime, TV production and playwrighting. Favorite shows and memories include Tom Sawyer (Kirby Ward’s tap dance in ‘It Ain’t Fer Me’); The Hobbit (playing cards and spin-the-bottle upstairs in the costume loft); Peter Pan (Brian Mitchell as Captain Hook, flying by Foy); The Innocents (I overacted terribly as the child possessed); Li’l Abner, Best Foot Forward, Winnie the Pooh, Cinderella (little Christian Hoff was my page); Jo, Bye Bye Birdie (I was married to Roxy Cantos); The Pied Piper (great songs by Bob Austin); Seventeen, and How to Succeed in Business (alas, my last show, the end of a happy era).

Thanks to Don and Bonnie Ward, Ole Kittleson, Alan Sharf, Roberta Jordan, D. J. Sullivan, Pat McCune, and all the great teachers and directors who gave me so much. As a teenager I spent most of my time trying to stay under the radar and never said thanks. Also thanks Mom for driving me to “all those damn rehearsals.” After JT, I received a Bachelor of Arts in music from the University of California at Berkeley. I directed the Bay Area Youth Theatre in Berkeley with my wife Joan. We moved to Austin, Texas, in 1986 to raise our growing family. Will, Sam and Sadie are now grown and out of the house — almost! I play and teach piano for a living as well as compose music, and Joan teaches creative movement to young children ages four to eight. Not a day goes by that I don’t use something I learned at Junior Theatre, a song, a phrase, a dance step, a technical term. I wouldn’t be able to make it up as I go along nearly as well as I do without my JT experience.