Emily Hoppe has always loved to perform and never had any doubt that performing would be an integral part of her life. She began balancing her passion for education and the arts when she was a teenager at Randolph School by directing shows, leading arts camps in the community and at her church, and teaching instrumental lessons to younger students. She performed in many shows at her school, church, and in the community, including Ado Annie in Oklahoma and Minnie Fay in Hello Dolly. All the while, she was playing violin in the Huntsville Youth Orchestra and First Baptist Church Orchestra, playing oboe in the Randolph School Band and the Huntsville Community Band, and singing with the Randolph School concert choir and the First Baptist Church youth choir, earning the award of Outstanding Choral Student for her district her senior year.
She went on to get a B.A. with a double major in theatre and music from Samford University, eventually spending several years as the co-coordinator and lead teacher for their summer theatre camps. Her capstone project was directing a Theatre for Young Audiences musical for which she organized a tour to area elementary schools and children's centers. She spent a semester in Europe studying theatre, art, and linguistics, after which she married fellow SU theatre major Rush Brunson.
After college Emily began teaching play, art, and music classes at a preschool center and private voice and piano lessons at Dawson Music Academy. She landed the lead role in Red Mountain Theatre Company's Hairspray after they conducted a statewide Search for Tracy. She reprised that role at Theatre Tuscaloosa a few years ago. She continues to perform and stage manage with RMTC whenever the opportunity arises as well as teaching various workshops with them throughout the year. She directs an elementary school musical every spring at her alma mater (Randolph), most recently mounting Seussical Kids with 62 third and fourth graders. She is also the music teacher at Alabama Waldorf School for grades 1-8, conducting the middle school chorus, leading violin classes, and hosting an after-school ukulele club.
She is thrilled to be the new Children's Programming Director at South City Theatre! Her husband first began performing with SCT in Wait Until Dark and the next season, Emily directed The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! This past season she taught after school classes, directed Design for Murder, and music directed The Music Man. She can't wait to see what the future holds!