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Spotlight Stories

There is no greater purpose than to help shape our community for the better. Wharton Center is committed to showcasing experiences that inspire the mind and move the soul.

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Todd Tuchek

Todd Tuchek vividly recalls sitting the front row of the Wharton Center balcony, eyes wide, mesmerized by the national tour of Beauty and the Beast. He was 6.

From that day in 1999, his mind was set on being part of that magic. He didn’t understand it yet, but he was yearning to be a storyteller.

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Andrea Ragan

Growing up in Gaylord, Andrea Ragan wasn’t a diehard theater fan. She went to some community theater shows with her family, but the performing arts weren’t her focus.

Then her parents became obsessed with Wicked after seeing it on tour in Detroit. And they were determined to convert their twentysomething daughter.

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Eloy Trevino

Eloy Trevino’s life was changed when a chandelier nearly fell on his head.

That’s only a slight exaggeration.

When he was a student at Michigan State, Eloy’s mom saved money to buy the family tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera at Wharton Center. 

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Hanel Baveja

Hanel Baveja was 14 years old when she wrote her first play.

It was the first of three times she won the Young Playwrights Festival at Wharton Center.

“I always loved creative writing and had written a lot of stories and poetry, but I’d never written a play,” she said.

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Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday is co-chair of [email protected], working to engage the next generation of theatergoers with Wharton Center. And he’s the president of Lansing 5:01, connecting college interns and young professionals with work and play opportunities in greater Lansing. And he’s on the board of the Owosso Community Players … where he also performs in their shows.

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