Though it is only Tara Miller Abell’s sixth year back at Temescal Canyon High School, the TCHS theater is like an old friend to her. She opened the theatre as a student in 1999, performing in its inaugural production. She began directing as a TCHS student and naturally, went on to major in Musical Theatre at the University of Redlands with a full scholarship. Anyone who has lived in Southern California in the last thirty years, is more than likely familiar with Abell’s credits, as an award-winning performer. She has studied voice under Billy Purnell (a Seth Riggs associate), Patricia Gee, and Fernanda Douglas (a Liz Caplan associate). She also obtained her M. A. in Theatre from Texas A&M, Commerce. Abell returned after college to teach Drama and English at her alma mater in 2007. In 2012, she left to get married and moved to Beverly Hills. They eventually relocated to Redlands, where she and her husband met in college. After starting a family, they returned to Canyon Lake to be closer to family. Abell’s directorial work at TCHS includes The Outsiders; South Pacific; The Uninvited; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (the first LEUSD production to be accompanied by a live pit); RENT (the first LEUSD production to be accompanied by a live pit of all-student musicians); Fools; An Evening with Cole Porter; Peter Pan; Of Mice and Men; Grease (also with an all-student pit); Sweeney Todd; Alice in Wonderland (based on Jiří Srnec’s Czech Black Light style of theatre); You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter; The Wizard of Flaws; Little Women; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; TRAP; and In the Heights (which was performed with the original Broadway set); Black Box on the Air (A Student-Written, Student-Directed Pandemic Radio Experiment); It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Show; Every Christmas Story Ever Told...and Then Some; Little Shop of Horrors; and The Play That Goes Wrong.
The TCHS Spotlight Players were established in 1999 as the premier theatrical education and production center for high school students in the area through the achievement of the following goals: * To produce productions of exceptional quality * To challenge ourselves with productions that stretch our abilities and teach a lesson * To encourage students to attain a mastery of the theatre arts * To foster a life-long appreciation for and involvement with theatre * To develop integrity, positive attitude, and rigorous work ethic in our company * To extend an invitation to all TC students, from all social groups, to participate in theatre