Suburban Living Magazine by Jennifer Dunsmore
She greets me with an enthusiastic wave from a high top table in the Holly Springs Cultural Center’s lobby. I have in my arms a small stack of library books to return and she comments on one of the titles. “We’re in the middle of potty training, too,” she says, and we spend the next few moments commiserating. Ten minutes later I realize I’ve just told Angie Ottosen-Staheli my life story.
Perhaps that’s what happened each time she visited a local cemetery to do research on her latest project, a play based on the history of Holly Springs from Civil War to present day. Something about Angie makes you want to open up. You get this sense that your story is safe with her, that she will carry it in her bones and protect it with all that is in her. It’s with that sense of responsibility that she has crafted the play—Finding Patience – The Story of Holly Springs—which will have 10 performances throughout the month of June next year. It is a piece of historical fiction, which means that Angie is free to get to what she believes is the heart of the story, to let her creative mind wander and explore. It is precisely what she did during the two years prior to writing the script: explore. She read up on Holly Springs history, picked the brain of historian Barb Koblich, and poked around our unique little town.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Angie moved here with her husband, David, and three boys, Parker (10), Lincoln (7), and Ander (3). She studied theater and sociology in college and has been writing, directing, and acting in plays for the past decade plus. Her plays have been performed in Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington, Mississippi, and Utah. Her roles have changed with the seasons; when she’s too busy with little ones to act, she squeezes in long writing sessions in the dark, next to her husband in bed, or at the kitchen table with children playing in her peripheral vision. Those long bouts of writing are done now. Now, it’s time for her words to take center stage.