butterfield-tamera.jpg

Tamera Broyles

Tamera Broyles is one of those rare people who is lucky enough to do what she loves for a living.

Maybe it's her years of teaching dance at the Cooke County Ballet Academy or her experience as a stage director or the fact that she and her husband John have plenty of parenting experience.

Put her in a crowded theater with young performers and her energy and creativity are obvious.

She is part mother, part teacher and part drill sergeant, and when she runs a rehearsal the actors know what is expected of them.

And they do it.

The executive director of the Butterfield Stage is in her element when she works with actors of all ages.

The performing arts are second nature to Broyles who graduated from Dallas' Arts Magnet High School — an experience she said still influences her today.

"I look back now and I think we were too young to appreciate what we had. Our teachers were some of the best," Broyles said of the instructors at the arts-oriented high school where she was a dance major.

Broyles said she and John moved to Gainesville in 1994.

The couple have always been part of the theater world.

In addition to his job as director of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, John is an actor, a writer, a radio personality and a voice-over performer.

Her first job in Gainesville was as an assistant to then-city attorney Nancy O. Williams.

She also taught dance in Gainesville.

"I started subbing for Stephanie Stoffels at Cooke County Ballet Academy," she said.

The substitutive dance instructor gig eventually became a full-time assignment.

“I taught dance the whole time my kids were little,” she said.

Broyles wears many hats in the historic Butterfield Theater where she has worked since 2006.

"Here I deal with both creative people and the business aspect of the theater which is interesting,' Broyles said.

She must also be flexible.

"I do everything from scrubbing toilets to marketing, and I love it,' she said.

The busy Butterfield organization seems headed in the right direction.

Each year, Butterfield productions draw impressive crowds.

Some shows star seasoned veterans such as Alex Cord and Jennifer Savidge who took the lead roles in last year's Valentine offering “Love Letters.”

And there are huge productions such as last year's crowd-pleaser — High School Musical which featured a large cast of young, diverse and multi-talented actors.

Broyles admits there is nothing more liberating than live theater.

"When an audience comes in (to a performance) they might be cranky and by the time the show is over, they've been transported from their situation for a while. They've been taken out of their lives for two hours and they have a whole new attitude," she said.

She is especially excited about the emergence of Butterfield's children theater productions.

"It really revitalized Butterfield," she said.

Singing, dancing and acting are positive outlets for kids earning to find their own direction in life, she said.

In addition to managing the Butterfield Theater, Broyles is a parent.

She and John have four children — Audrey, Lexi, Jack and Alex.

Broyles said she and her husband are exactly where they belong.

“We are well-suited for our jobs,” she said.

It also helps to be in a city such as Gainesville, she added.

“Our community is so receptive,” she said. “Butterfield has been here for 30 years because the people of Gainesville want it. Having an active community theater is good for the city.”

Her office is a busy place, even on a weekday afternoon.

With dozens of copies of Christmas sheet music in front of her — the theater is planning its holiday program — Broyles answers the phone, talks to actors and vendors and occasionally looks in on some Butterfield volunteers including a host of retired men working on a building project in the basement.

“We have a marvelous core group of volunteers,” she said.

She is also grateful for her assistant Tanya Chase.

Chase is a Butterfield veteran who has starred in and directed Butterfield productions.

“I’m so glad we were able to add Tanya. She grew up on Butterfield and is an asset to us,” she said.

Broyles said one thing she loves about her job is the chance to connect with lots of different people.

Her advice to anyone who’d like to give acting a try is to go for it.

“Come in and audition,” she said. “I am always utterly shocked at the talent we have here. New people come in all the time,” she said.

Recommended for you