Deanne Zogleman, Newman University music director, takes her craft seriously both on and off campus. As an actress in the local theater community, Zogleman has been honored with a total of 10 Mary Jane Teall Awards throughout her thespian years.
Her most recent was Leading Female in a Musical for her role as Diana in the musical “Next to Normal.”
The show took home nine awards during the Sept. 28 award ceremony, which took place at the Crown Uptown Theatre, including Best Ensemble and City-Wide Musical. Best Music Direction went to Paul Graves, who also music-directs the fall musicals at Newman University.
“Next to Normal” played to sold-out audiences in Wichita, Kansas, the weekend of March 5-8, just weeks before cities and states were shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zogleman said the role, a schizophrenic mother with bipolar tendencies, was incredibly demanding and took hours of research on her part, not only by reading but also by interviewing individuals who live with mental disorders and talking to their families.
“I wanted to make sure I did the role justice,” she said. ” Before rehearsals and the actual shows each night, I would go off by myself for 30-plus minutes to get into my character, Diana’s, head and it would take me hours to come down after each show because it is an intense role that runs the gamut of emotions.”
The show was performed by the Guild Hall Players, a community theater group that was formed in 2006. Zogleman has performed in one to three shows per year since the inception of the group. She has also music directed and choreographed shows throughout the years.
She is looking forward to getting back on the stage, with hopes that can happen early next year. Beyond her role at Newman and local theater, Zogleman also directs the Heart of America Men’s Chorus.