101 Stories: Former TCT Staff

By The Children's Theatre

Celebrate TCT’s 101st season as it comes to a close as we applaud and appreciate those who contributed to the organization’s magic throughout our century-long journey.  During 10 weeks of recognition, we honor individuals who have been instrumental in the success of TCT, and who have not only helped TCT grow in mission, but also thrive, thanks to their passion.  It is these people and their moments in our history that shaped TCT to become what it is today. We encourage you to consider giving a gift in their honor to ensure the sustainability of TCT’s mission for the next 100+ years. 

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has employed legions of actors, theatre educators, arts administrators, and production staff throughout its 101 years. The immense talent that has passed through the organization’s doors is incredible. 

One such past performer/staffer is Andy Gaukel. As an educator and theatrical artist, Andy loves to craft stories that create opportunities for empathy as well as using creative expression and the arts to create a voice for experiences. Andy grew up in a theatrical family. He began performing in TCT MainStage productions in 2005, appearing on the Taft Theatre stage in Aesop’s Fables and Charlotte’s Web that season.   

He says: “Getting to be a part of The Children’s Theatre was fun. There was a sense of joy and this joy is what kept me coming back.” 

Mr. Gaukel continues:  “While working for TCT as an educator in 2008-09, I developed a program called ‘Dragonfly’ where I traveled to a school in Cincinnati, and worked with kids to record their stories. I would make little books of these stories and the kids would act them out. We were able to give these children a voice and an immersive experience where they could participate in the theatre from where they are.” 

He would go on to describe The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati experience as transformative, life changing, and magical.  

Currently, Andy is a Hudson Valley, NY based puppetry artist and educator. His puppetry credits include the world premier of Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home and Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique (2004, 2012 and 2018).

His original works, Schweinehund (2015) and Calm Blue Sky (2019), premiered at the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes in Charleville-Mézières, France, and have since been presented throughout the world including Le Mouffetard, part of the 2017 Biennale internationale des arts de la marionnette (Paris, France); Casteliers (Montreal); and the Chicago International Puppet Theatre Festival, among others. In 2020, Andy helped create the puppetry for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s word premiere of Karen Zacarías’ play, The Copper Children. Andy is the proud recipient of four Jim Henson Foundation grants to help further his original work. 

Would you honor Andy Gaukel or a past TCT staff member with a gift to recognize the impact made on TCT?