Jody Hanna, an Oregon native, moved to Newport 22 years ago to teach sixth grade at Newport Middle School. She thought she had moved to the end of the earth and only planned to stay one year. Instead she fell in love, with her husband and the community. Jody, with her husband Brian, decided that Newport was where they wanted to live and raise their family.
As a child growing up, she was shy and reserved and used theatre and music as a way to gain confidence. In 2004, Jody helped create Coastal Act Productions (CAP), a community theatre company for youth and their families. She currently serves as the artistic director on the CAP board, as well as directing and appearing on stage at the PAC.
“Theatre has the power to change you,” she declared. “People tell me all the time that they can’t sing, or they are afraid to be on stage. If you have a voice, you can sing. Maybe not a solo, but everyone can sing in a group, and when you are surrounded on stage by people who care about you, it changes you.”
Jody earned her undergraduate degree in education from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Portland State University.
“Lots of parents get involved with their kids through sports and I want people to know that they can also get involved with their kids (or other children they care about) through their involvement in the arts,” she explained. Through the OCCA, she hopes to inspire young people to pursure the arts as they grow into adults, whether as a professional or as a volunteer.