After 33 years working in the information technology industry, it would be reasonable to think Tanya Moore would want to sit back, relax and enjoy retirement. But to her, that just seems awful. She wants to be out in the community, volunteering for all sorts of positions. Other retirees could enjoy this kind of lifestyle, too, if they followed Tanya’s secret:

“The trick is to find things that are totally different than what you did in your work life. Those are the most fun.”

And so, among other volunteer roles in Norcross, Tanya decided to take up set design at Lionheart Theatre.

A Lionheart Staple

When Tanya retired from the math- and computer-based IT field two years ago, being able to work with her hands was like a breath of fresh air. A self-professed tinkerer, she said she’s always been good with tools and such. This was just what Lionheart needed.

If you got the opportunity to see Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, you no doubt noticed the incredible set that was authentic to the 1950s, down to the comic books on the wall. This set, one of the most difficult of the season, was built by Tanya and her team. What’s more, this was her first time ever building a real set. When she started, she couldn’t tell you the difference between a prop and a set decoration.* Now, she’s practically a pro.

 Before Jimmy Dean, Tanya helped design and set up a casino and murder mystery dinner as a fundraiser for the Lionheart Art Center held in January. This event turned out to be a hit, and it showed the other members of the Lionheart Theatre just what she was capable of.

Outside the Theatre

With so much work put into the theatre, one might assume it’s all Tanya has time to do. Yet, her name is well-known in many circles throughout the community. “There’s always more to do in Norcross than you have time for,” she says, but Tanya seems to be fitting just about everything into her schedule.

She’s a member of the Norcross Downtown Development Authority, on the committee for the Norcross Art Festival and a board member of the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she regularly helps with fundraisers for the Norcross Cluster Schools Partnership. Somewhere in there Tanya also manages to find time to sleep.

No Plans to Stop

At Lionheart, Tanya’s next role is to design the set for the upcoming play 100 Dresses, a show suited for preteens through adults that examines the ramifications of bullying. Though this set is simpler than Jimmy Dean, it is still a challenge to design it on the small Lionheart stage — a challenge that Tanya embraces.

“It’s always interesting how much [could be made] with so little square footage,” she says.

Though she has not been asked to design more sets in the future yet, there is no doubt her role will continue. And with the pleasure Tanya gains from volunteering at the theatre — she says designing the set for Jimmy Dean was the most fun she’s had in her two years of retirement — maintaining her volunteer status shouldn’t be an issue.

If you are interested in getting involved at Lionheart, from set design to acting and even baking desserts, it’s better to get started now than later. After all, as Tanya says, Lionheart can always use volunteers. For more information, visit our volunteer page.

*For those wondering, a prop is basically anything on stage an actor physically interacts with, while a set decoration is anything else on the stage used to set the scene.