The Do-it-all Creative Genius
In an industry where many struggle to survive, Peggy Trecker White is thriving. This actor-director-singer-dancer-teacher-do-it-aller is living a life she has always dreamed of, filled with all her greatest passions, enough opportunities to keep her constantly moving forward and a thirst for adventure that brings life and beauty to everything she puts her mind to.
Since Christmas, Peggy has been involved in (are you ready for this?): acting and directing for the South Carolina Repertory Company (SCRC), directing a cast of 50 children in "Charlotte's Web" for Main Street Youth Theatre, serving as Music Coordinator and Soloist for Unity Church, teaching dance classes at the Boys and Girls Club, being an acting coach and teaching private voice lessons for both adults and high school students, working with the Choral Society and training to be one of five teachers for a new movement system known as Eginton Alignment (Whew!). So how does she find the energy to do it all? It's simple really, she lives creatively.
"Living creatively to me is a sense of freedom, a spiritual expression that you don't think about while you're doing it. It forces me to live in the moment. For example, when I'm directing, all of my outside problems aren't present; all I have to deal with is the task directly at hand," said Peggy. "To me, living creatively is energy. When I don't get a chance to do it, I feel stuck. Each activity I am involved in brings out a feeling of freedom inside."
The freedom Peggy feels in living creatively is something she has enjoyed since she was in her first play as a freshman in high school. Her love for acting carried her to the University of Michigan where she received her degree in Musical Theatre. From there, Peggy lived, acted and directed in the metropolitan areas of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles before being cast in the national tour of "Miss Saigon". "When I was in LA, I directed for the first time, which I loved because it scared me to death. I was on the national tour for 15 months and I could have stayed on it, but my personality is such that I always want to keep growing."
And grow she did. After leaving the tour, Peggy was accepted into the graduate program at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard Moscow. There, she got the opportunity to study with directors from all over the world and act in Russia, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Upon returning home, she moved back to New York and then to Hilton Head, after receiving an opportunity to work with the SCRC. Here in Hilton Head she met and worked with Blake White, who eventually became the Associate Producer of the theatre, her inspiration and her husband. "Sometimes I miss the metropolitan area living, but I'm getting to be as creative as I can be down here, and it's awesome!"
So what is next for this do-it-all creative genius? She is currently wrapping up the direction of "Charlotte's Web", which is set to run April 14-24. She also plans to continue cultivating her love for teaching, and hopes to one day open a retreat center where individuals or big companies can come to develop their skills in a beautiful and inspiring atmosphere. "When I was in high school, I had a voice teacher who gave me more than just lessons. Before every session we would drink tea together and she would talk to me about my day. She changed my life because she believed in me. I hope to be that person to the young people I teach; someone who cheers them on and believes in them, because when you're young, getting over that mental block takes so much longer than learning the technique," Peggy said. "In trying to reach our potential or our best selves, we must be willing to risk the clumsiness, the mistakes and falling down. It is so vital to have a forum in which to feel safe to fail and explore and try. If you never do these things, you'll never know how far you can go. I hope to continue finding courage to do this myself, as I believe it is a process that never ends, and I hope to create that environment for others."
Finds inspiration from: Her mother, Patricia Hefferon and husband, Blake White give her safety, love and a source of support. SCRC owners Hank and Pat Haskell have allowed her the opportunities to succeed.
Also gets revved-up by: Looking through design and decor magazines, looking at set designs and other designer's works, watching big theatre in New York or tiny theatres, being outside, being in a room with people who know more than she does.
Favorite past accomplishment: In "Matt and Ben," a play about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck at the SCRC, she played Ben. "It wasn't necessarily the best play, some people loved it and others hated it, but it was the most fun I've ever had!"
Teaching philosophy: "It is difficult to stand forth in one's growing if one is not permitted to live through the stages of one's unripeness, clumsiness, unreadiness, as well as one's grace and aptitude."