Alum spotlight: Lisa Cover-Tucci (BFA ’00) Theatre Education

lisa skating

Lisa has a suggestion for the current theatre department, “I wish they’d reinstate that education major. It was a one-stop shop where I learned acting, directing, scenic painting, set construction, costume design and more. It really prepared me to be able to teach high school theatre.”

student trip NYC

When she was a senior at Stafford High School in Fredericksburg, Lisa attended a Virginia High School League competition and a judge from VCU (she thinks it was Maury Erickson) suggested VCU. After getting her degree, Lisa moved back to Stafford County, where she’s been teaching theatre at Brooke Point High for 20 years. Lisa concludes, “I enjoy teaching in the county where I grew up and giving back.”

lisa at graduation

As for her VCU connection, “I still keep in touch with the three education majors that graduated with me and we use each other’s resources.” She remembers the faculty was very supportive. In Gary Hopper’s acting class, he would say, “Save this to teach to your kids one day. Ditto for Liz (emeritus faculty in costume design/tech), who would tell us, ‘You can use this in teaching and when producing plays.'” Her advisor, Lou Szari (retired lighting design/tech faculty), “taught me to be an encourager and lift up kids and leave them with a positive. I take that into my teaching.”

Lisa cover tucci

When COVID shut down her school, “The confusion about what to do was a hot mess.” However, she’s actually “oddly excited” about the upcoming year. Her positive approach to life has translated to this new challenge, “I feel like it’s gonna be good for us. I’ve done this for 20 years and not much has changed. I’m going to have to plan ahead more, which is hard cause theatre people tend to be spontaneous. It’ll be a lesson in flexibility and patience for me. Things like this can only improve us as teachers.”

Compiled by Liz Hopper (Emeritus Faculty) and Jerry Williams (BFA ’71) for the August 2020 Theatre Alumni Newsletter