Little Theatre Director: Liz Odorisio ’87
Lights, Camera, Action! $400K Gift Accelerates Theatre Renovation Planning
Bishop Watterson has begun the planning process to renovate the Little Theatre, thanks to a generous $400,000 donation pledge from entrepreneur and philanthropist Kim Knoppe. Architects have begun drawing up plans, intended to enhance the participants’ experience with new stage flooring, stairs, doors and storage racks, the addition of a glass sound booth, and a spruce up of the greenroom, including installing bathrooms. Additionally, the renovation will enhance the audience experience with new seating, flooring and lighting.
“I feel that the students’ visual and performing arts experience in high school impacts them throughout their lives,” said Knoppe. “We need to develop our younger generation to have a life-long appreciation of the arts. I also believe Watterson’s newly-renovated theatre will attract even more students.”
Knoppe’s support of BWHS art programs has grown over the past year. In early 2022 he sponsored 12 visual art scholarships to first-place award recipients at the Bishop Watterson Art Show. Later that year, Knoppe provided a sound board and wireless mics to the theatre department in time for the fall drama.
“We are grateful to Kim for his support of our arts programs and for this recent, even more generous donation,” said Deacon Chris Campbell, Principal. “Having a strong arts program enriches the education our students receive, because the arts have the capacity to bring people closer to God through the activity of creative expression and through the beauty of artwork. Kim understands that impact. Gifts such as this help Bishop Watterson to maintain our facilities and to provide a well-rounded and faith-filled education for our students.”
Knoppe said he caught the spirit of the theatre program from Artistic Director Liz Thomas’87 O’Dorisio which inspired him to provide funding to the renovation project.
“Liz is so talented,” he said. “Her energy and dedication to the theatre program is contagious.”
“We are ever so grateful for Kim Knoppe,” said O’Dorisio. “Local arts advocate and forever friend of the theatre, Mr. Knoppe sees the unmeasureable value in supporting youth arts. By donating to our cause, he is helping us to continue our efforts of creating an environment which reflects the school’s longstanding reputation for excellence.”