Person of Interest: Mr. Steffan


A Tosa East grad turned Tosa West teacher, go behind the scenes with the beloved theater director known for his sense of style and elaborate productions.


How do you decide on what shows to do?

So, when I am deciding about what shows to do, I think of three things. I think of the students that we have. I think of budget, and I think of community, will the community come to see it. Is it something attractive to the audience? I also think about creating a season of shows that’s appealing to not only the community but the students. So if it’s a lesser known show in the fall, maybe we do something more well known in the spring, etc. And I also think too about like if someone starts with the theater program freshman year and does all eight shows, it should be a good mix.


Performing, directing or watching?



Do you have a goal for Wauwatosa West Theatre?

To continue to be excellent and to raise the bar for high school theatre. 


What is your favorite show that you’ve put on?

Oh my god, that’s like asking what’s your favorite child? Or cat or you know, if you’re not a cat person, dog I guess. I guess I would say it’s whatever I’m working on now. All the shows are so different. I can tell you what shows I didn’t like, maybe that’s another article. Some, some shows I don’t need to do again.


What are you most excited about with upcoming production?

To be back at 100% capacity, one. And two, to be doing it. You know, we’ve been away from theater and the joy it brings so many, not just the performers but the tech crew,  the pit orchestra, the people that come to see it, and it’s just nice to be able to offer those joyful experiences again.


Why did you decide on getting the Beauty and the Beast?

It’s a well known show and I thought it was the perfect show coming out of COVID to welcome everyone back with its I mean, everyone knows that and loves the story.


Who’s your favorite Broadway star?

Oh, my gosh, my favorite Broadway star. I love… her name is Cynthia Erivo. She also starred in the Harriet movie and she’s a fitness person and she’s just, she’s fabulous.


Live action or animated version? 



What is the show you haven’t done that you’d like to do?

Sweeney Todd or SpongeBob.


What are you most excited about concerning Beauty and the Beast?

The costumes oh, gosh, all the costumes and enchanted objects. The show that we’re doing is based on the animated film, so if you’ve seen the movie, you’re gonna love the show and you should come see it,, follow us. And I would say all of the wonderful music and having the opportunity to work with all of my colleagues, all of the Music and Performing Arts staff here at West is involved, which is great.