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Meet Jenn Tonak!

Jenn Tonak is the first face most people see at Crystal Sea Drama Company!

How did you get introduced to Crystal Sea?

My daughter was involved in the drama group at our homeschool co-op, and I could see from the second show that she needed more. So, I started googling “theaters in San Antonio.” I had already met Irene [Miller] at one of the curriculum fairs, so I remembered Crystal Sea and looked it up online. As it turned out, one of my daughter’s friends was in a radio theatre show there that summer and invited us to come watch it. I said, “Oh, my gosh, this is amazing! And this is only two weeks!” The summer show sold us, and we signed up for classes for the fall.

Explain your job at the theater.

My title is now Managing Director. (Irene said she met a Managing Director from another theater, and they do everything I do, so I needed a better title!) I do the class registration, billing, finances, shopping for snack bar and props -- I’m also treasurer for the Board. I’m there all day on Mondays and Thursdays, managing the office. I coordinate volunteers – people ask me about volunteering opportunities, so I find stuff for them to do and track their hours. I also do the graphic design – all the posters and any other graphic images needed.

What do you love most about CSDC?

I think the people here are great. My kids have made very good friends, and I have, too. I also love the quality of everything – the shows and the people. Because we have such higher standards, we attract higher quality people, I think.

And I like that we get to use our individual gifts – students and adults. I went to school for photography and hated it, but I really loved photoshop and the digital stuff. In every organization that my kids were a part of, I did some sort of graphics for them – fliers, event tickets, t-shirts, that kind of stuff. When they said at CSDC that they needed a graphic designer, I got really excited about that. I love doing the posters and stuff.

Do you have any background in theater?

I really don’t. In high school, I wanted to do set design, painting of the sets and building things . . . but none of my friends wanted to join me, so I figured I wouldn’t know anyone and never joined. When we came here where you get to help with whatever you want, I thought, “Whoa, this is so cool!”

So, you wanted to do tech stuff? You didn’t necessarily want to perform?

No, I’ve never wanted to perform. I still don’t. :)

What’s your favorite show you’ve been involved with at CSDC?

I really loved “Do-Overs” [spring 2018]. I thought the idea was super clever. I loved how we were able to rewind everything and reset it all, and then there’s a new choice made that changes the direction of the show and the characters. I really loved the whole concept and how we were able to make it happen. I want to do that one again!

Is there anything that people would be surprised to know about you?

Everybody is always shocked when I tell them that I’m a crafty person. I love all kinds of paper crafts: collage, journal-making, scrapbooking . . . I just love paper. Any kind of paper.

And I love hiking. I like being outside in nature; I would hike anywhere all the time if I could. I could hike for miles and miles . . . but I get bored walking in my neighborhood. After a mile or two, I’m like, “Okay, I’m going home. I’m done.”



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