Hoeppner Excited to See Daughter in Birdie, Same Musical She Did in 1987


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Paula Anne Hoeppner joins the crew of featured Bye Bye Birdie alumni performers. Hoeppner played Conrad Birdie teenage Fan Club member Penelope in the 1987 show.

She also participated in many other productions throughout her high school years while attending St. Joseph Academy. Hoeppner stays in contact with several friends she made throughout her participation in musicals.

Q: What did you gain from doing the musical?

A: “I gained a lifetime of memories and friends by being a part of the Bye Bye Birdie production. I also discovered my love of music theater during this show, which helped spur me on to audition for many of the other shows.”

Q: What are your favorite memories from the musical?  

A: “What I remember most was the fun we had both on and off stage.  I remember it being freezing in the City Center Theater. We would all have winter coats, hats, and mittens on over our costumes. I especially loved the ‘pre- show prep’ while everyone was getting ready.  We had professional stylists come in to help with hair and makeup. It was truly an amazing experience.”

Q: Why did you participate in the musical?  

A: “I auditioned for the musical because I have always loved music and was in the swing choir at Abbot Pennings. My friends from swing choir encouraged me to audition.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to as far as the Notre Dame Academy performance of Bye Bye Birdie?

A: “I am thrilled to be helping behind the scenes with the show. I am helping with marketing, the program and cookie and flower sales during the performances.  Watching my daughter and her friends work to bring this show back to life after thirty years has been nothing short of magical.”

Q: Have you thought of coming back for Alumni Night?

A: “I am looking forward to being at all performances of the show this year, but I think Alumni Night will be extra special. I look forward to looking back with fellow Bye Bye Birdie castmates.”