Director Tylor Loest, far right, watches Orion Hones, left, and Ian Dorsch rehearse a scene from the Shakespeare-inspired “Neither Rhyme Nor Reason” in the fall of 2011.
Director Tylor Loest, far right, watches Orion Hones, left, and Ian Dorsch rehearse a scene from the Shakespeare-inspired “Neither Rhyme Nor Reason” in the fall of 2011.

   For 10 seasons, Tylor Loest has helmed Ripon High School (RHS) musicals and dramas, directing students through productions ranging from Shakespeare to Sondheim.

   But now the show must go on — without him.

   The long-time local, who attended the Rosendale-Brandon School District and Ripon College before taking over the RHS theater program, is taking his talents to Sheboygan, where he will be the corporate relations coordinator for the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

   The move will close the curtain on Loest’s decade-long tenure as the director of RHS plays.

   “I think when you’ve done this as long as I have, you realize that, in a place like Ripon, [a high school play] is really a community event ... You’re really creating accessible, local theater for people to come out, see and enjoy,” he said. “... [I]t’s just amazing to see the students grow and develop. As I tell people, it’s a ‘student-centered approach.’ The only way to really define that, I guess, is to say we don’t do this for competitions; we do this to grow the students and at the same time create something special.”

   And just like he and other teachers must bid farewell when their students grow up and graduate, Loest himself is ready to fly the coop.

   “I feel actually now more than ever that I’m leaving the nest,” he said.

Read the full story in the Feb. 15, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.