Deirdre Andrews marks 40 years directing her Young Actors in La Jolla

Deirdre Andrews was raised in La Jolla in the 1950s and ’60s. The oldest of five children in the Scanlon Clan, her first directing experience came from garage shows put together with the help of her mother, Kay. These productions usually featured her sister Happy in the starring roles and her three brothers creating the comedic moments. Andrews was also a part of Mrs. Reid’s La Jolla Junior Theatre, which staged shows at the Contemporary Museum of Art.

Andrews attended Stella Maris Academy and then went on to Bishop’s for high school. She later graduated from USC, receiving her B.A. in Theater Arts. After spending time acting with a company from USC in Europe, she returned to study at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco before settling back in La Jolla to start Young Actor’s Workshop in 1971. The company is embarking on its 40 year with a return to productions of “The Wizard of Oz,” its first show. The company’s original home was in the hall at Mary Star of the Sea. Andrews has two grown children, and said she loves the idea that they are the family’s fifth generation La Jollans!

What brought you to La Jolla?

My great grandparents came to La Jolla in the early 1900s and built a summer home, The Sea Cliff, in the days when the houses had names. This was a family home for decades and both my grandmother and mother spent their summers at The Sea Cliff. I came to La Jolla as a toddler in 1949 when my parents decided to settle here.

What makes this area special to you?

The beauty of the sea, the gardens, the picturesque cottages, my church, our amazing community … we definitely live in paradise!

How would you improve the area?

I would add more of the arts in our schools. So many children learn through experiencing the various art forms, and I am concerned that these

are the programs being eliminated in budget cuts.

Who or what inspires you?

The life of Jesus, George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis, Emily Dickinson, Hans Christen Andersen, G.K. Chesterton. Madeleine L’Engle, Shakespeare, St. Francis, Irving Berlin, my prayer group, my two grown children, and all my Young Actors!

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Here I have to change the rules. I am having an Open House! I would want all my dear family, precious friends, and my Young Actors past and present. Also included would be all those who have inspired me! We would have some of my dad’s famous Irish Coffee and Dr. Jay would play my mom’s swing tunes. Maybe Bill Cosby would drop by so the laughing would never end!

What are your favorite movies of all time?

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Wizard of Oz,” “Mary Poppins,” “A Beautiful Life,” and all the enchanting musicals that I grew up watching.

What is your most-prized possession?

First my faith, and then, the words of Dorothy in Oz sum it up, “There’s no place like home!” which of course is a place with those you

cherish and who cherish you in return.

What do you do for fun?

I like beach picnics and walks, boogie boarding, attending theater, reading,

enjoying music, and my morning coffee at the Goldfish Café.

What’s your greatest accomplishment?

Being the mom of my two children, Michalyn and Ryan, and having 40 years of theater here in La Jolla with all my Young Actors. How

blest I have been by each of them!

What is your philosophy of life?

There is a biblical passage that states God is singing over us … this touches my heart. Every day is a miracle to be grateful for and

I always sign-off my letters to the Young Actors … “Keep Dancing, Singing, Laughing, Dreaming!”