Directing Brings Out Creative Flair for Franciscan Health Employee
GREENWOOD, Indiana – "Open different doors. You may find a you there that you never knew was yours." – Mary Poppins
The doors opened to Abbey Ziemba lead to vastly different worlds, both that demand patience and persistence.
During the week, Ziemba works as supervisor of surgical scheduling and reimbursement for Franciscan Health in central Indiana. On weekends, she turns to her creative side, as a member of the directing team for Center Grove Fine Arts Academy in Greenwood.
"I look at surgical scheduling and doing theater as so similar," she said. "It's all about finding how things fit together. You can't be afraid to try different perspectives. Theater makes me more confident to do it here. It's drastically different the two worlds I live in."
Ziemba's ties to children's theater date to the third grade, when she met friend and Center Grove Fine Arts Academy director Mark Landis through the Indianapolis Children's Choir. Years later, the two reconnected via an Indianapolis Children's Choir alumni group, and Landis invited her to join the directing team at Center Grove Fine Arts Academy.
"If you asked me as a teen, I would have promised I would be a high school music teacher," she said. "If you asked if I would look at spreadsheets or data for a living, I’d have laughed at you."
Ziemba recalls performing as part of the children's chorus in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which became one of the first musicals she helped direct through Center Grove.
"I love theater. It gives a safe space to try on any personality with no judgement," said Ziemba. "It's fun doing it with kids and encouraging them to try, have fun and be weird. There's so much emphasis today on being good at something, with no opportunity to be creative, kooky or weird. We're breeding that here – and I love it.
"It's so rewarding to watch them succeed, like anything else when raising a child. It didn’t matter if it took 12 weeks and 800 hours."
This winter, Ziemba is beginning her sixth musical on the directing team with the fine arts academy. The group will perform Mary Poppins with a cast of 140 students in April and May.
By Robbie Schneider
Social Media Manager