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Final curtain call for Jan Fattizzi

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By Ken Begley

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances.”

      - William Shakespeare

It was a sad day at the Opera House this past week with the departure of Mrs. Jan Fattizzi. Jan is handling over the reigns as the Central Kentucky Community Theatre Director and heads to her next job in Florida.

She and her husband Scott came to Springfield in 2005 with a long background in acting, to include parts in movies and on television, but primarily regional theatre in the Florida area. Together, they were the trailblazers and the driving force behind the establishment of the Central Kentucky Community Theatre. Their professional expertise took raw talent ranging in age from five to folks in their 60s and repeatedly turn out Broadway shows that were a credit to the community. I roughly estimate that over the years there have been some 60 different plays produced at the Opera House with over 400 performances for the public. 

There’s a lot of positive things to say about the theatre program that actually generates a profit for the county and helps bring in local revenue for our restaurants and other businesses. Over the years the success of our community theatre group has been the focus of attention in numerous articles in newspapers and magazines. In addition, it has been the focal point of local television and an in-depth examination by the Kentucky Educational Television network. They once even performed the play “Grease” at Disney World in Florida. Finally, the governor made an appearance at a play to award a grant while praising the work done by the program. It shouldn’t get any better than that.

But it does. You see it’s not just about putting on shows and making some money. It’s more about developing our youth. I will save it for another day but you wouldn’t believe the proven research and statistics highlighting the mental developmental powers of theatre at improving ACT and SAT scores in the areas of math, science, English and reading. But it is there for all to see.

You know Jan, you’ve done a heck of a job as a trailblazer for this program. But the most fitting praise comes from one of your actors. It’s my 15 year-old daughter Jenny who has been in theatre for the past four years. The rest of the article are her own words and needs no further comment from me.

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I’ve watched Mrs. Jan Fattizzi throughout the years take kids under her wings and guide them down the right path. She has made an impact on all of their lives that will not be forgotten. Look at your children now, Mrs. Jan. They are flying!

You have given them a set of their own wings that has inspired their personal growth. You’ve given each of these kids the confidence to do anything and taught them to shoot for the stars even though they had already caught one when they found Mrs. Jan.

This woman is one of the strongest people I know and over the years she has faced a tremendous amount of hardships.  Yet, she will always put a smile on her face in front of her theater kids. This woman is a role model to many, but is also much more than that. She’s like a second mom to every theatre child. When you first meet her, you instantly like her because she has this kind of personality that lights up the room for all to see. I can only hope to be half the woman that she is.

I have learned so much throughout my time with Mrs. Jan and gained so much respect for her. Mrs. Jan has taught me to grow as an individual. She introduced me to theatre and I remember I was so shy the first time I went. But I was introduced to some of the most amazing people anyone could ever meet. Who made them the way they are? That’s right, it was Mrs. Jan. I felt supported throughout my endeavors there and have been given the confidence to go after what I want because I deserve it. Mrs. Jan has given us the key to happiness by being able to act, sing, and perform in front of hundreds of people. If it wasn’t for her so many kids right now would be lost and not sure where to go, but they had her.

Our theater is like a family.  They are there for each other no matter what because of Mrs. Jan. Every child that walks through the opera house doors is accepted and welcomed into opening arms. She is the one that started this theatre group and made the Opera House a refuge and second home for many of the kids that have been fortunate enough to have her as a director. I have been a witness in noticing some of the most amazing changes that happen with these children and it was all because of Mrs. Jan. She made every child realize their importance and how special they are which has meant the world to them. It pains many of them to see her go after her long years of dedication. Mrs. Jan will always have a home at the Opera House and in the hearts of many!

WE LOVE YOU MRS. JAN!