Meet Kyra Hietpas, an alum of the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program. Kyra was a participant in the Center Stage Program in 2018 until she graduated from Little Chute High School the following year. In 2019, Kyra was one of the two nominees selected at the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Showcase to represent the program at The National High School Musical Theatre Awards® (The Jimmy Awards®) in New York in a national showcase, alongside Matthew Wautier-Rodriguez. Since her time as a participant in the Center Stage Program, Kyra continues to follow her passions and develop her skills as a stage performer.
For many growing up in the Midwest who dream of being on stage, it may be difficult to believe it’s possible to pursue since most successful artists make their breakthrough in bigger cities and states. “The Center Stage Program is such a wonderful outlet for all the young artists that come from smaller cities in Wisconsin, providing them opportunities to showcase their talents as well as gain experience on a professional stage,” Kyra remarked. “There are MANY incredibly talented young people who really just don’t know where to start when it comes to a career on the stage, and resources like the Center Stage Program help high school students to broaden their horizons and chase their dreams.”
Her favorite memory from the program goes back to when she performed the character medley at the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Showcase alongside other nominated actresses from Northeast Wisconsin. “They were all so talented and kind,” Kyra shared. “It was wonderful to work with and share a stage with people who value theater the way I do. Nothing can beat performing with other very talented individuals; there is so much passion and everyone gives their all.”
Kyra went on to represent the Center Stage Program at The Jimmy Awards and performed in a number celebrating musicals alongside talented performers from around the country. She credits performing on a professional Broadway stage for instilling a greater sense of belief in herself and her craft. “If it wasn’t for this opportunity, I never would have studied musical theater, so I am very grateful to have been a part of Center Stage Program,” Kyra acknowledged.
Kyra has recently graduated from Carroll University in Waukesha with a musical theater degree and a minor in educational studies. She was a part of the first graduating class from the musical theater program at Caroll University. Kyra is currently working at Cadence Academy Preschool, continuing to pursue her passion for educating students. Fulfilling her desire to be on stage, Kyra is a performer in the 2023-24 Season of Waukesha’s Outskirts Theatre Company. She will be performing in Stop Kiss April 5-7, 12-14, 2024.
The Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program is an educational initiative of the Fox Cities P.A.C. with support from corporate partner Fox Communities Credit Union. Additional partners in this program include Johnson Financial Group, Nicolet National Bank, Angelo & Jennifer Ninivaggi, Schneider Foundation, Skogen’s Festival Foods, WFRV and Wipfli. Programs like the Center Stage High School Musical Theater Program are also supported in part by contributions to the Center’s Annual Partner Campaign.
Written by Philomena Dorobek, Brand Storyteller
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center