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By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Diva discovered in La Mesa

February 27, 2017 (La Mesa) -- Lenelle Wylie of La Mesa is a diva--in the best sense of the word. This diva can sing, dance, and act. In Wylie’s case, the meaning of diva would also include high school biology teacher, winning coach, wife, and mother to pre-teens.

She will do a one-night benefit show this Saturday, March 4th, at Mission Valley’s San Diego Performing Arts Center to benefit the Visionary School for the Performing Arts.  Her show will include songs with a cabaret flair, Broadway based numbers, and popular music with musings, costume changes, her kids, and more.

Wylie, 39, a La Mesa resident and native, is a biology teacher and aquatics coach at Helix Charter High School. She received her degree from U.C.-Davis. She is married to James Wylie and has two daughters Lillian, 8, and Lendia, 10. 

“My kids started taking dance at Visionary.  They asked if parents would get involved,” explained Wylie on how her ties with Visionary Dance Theatre and Visionary School for the Performing Arts in La Mesa began.

Visionary Dance theatre has had performances held at the City Heights Performance Annex which includes shows Wylie has performed in, such as Pippin.  She played a king.

Visionary’s artistic director, Spencer John Powell, who established the performance school and theatre troupe in 2009, told Wylie that she had to get on stage and do a show. Hence the benefit show, “Diva,” was born.

Wylie has been preparing, honing her vocal skills by taking vocal classes with Michael Sokol.  Sokol is a distinguished performer and cantor in his own right and has coached many singers on to success.  Given the range of songs she will be doing those classes will bring out more of her natural range.

Wylie’s singing didn’t just happen.  She was active in the choir at U.C.-Davis and grew up singing.

However, singing took a backseat to working full time as a teacher, coaching her water polo team who currently landed a 2nd place finish in the San Diego County Division I finals, and family life along the way. 

“It really started (being involved with Visionary) as a way to do more with my family,” she noted. Wylie will extend that “to do more” to her audience at this show and benefit fellow students who will participate in this La Mesa-based school.

Her show is also a part of the San Diego Theatre Week offerings which can be accessed via: (http://www.sandiegotheatreweek.com/).  

San Diego Theatre Week, started by the San Diego Performing Arts League, started February 26 and will run to March 5th.  It is a program to introduce the diversity of shows available locally to new and old arts lovers. Tickets are available via Visionary Dance Theatre’s website, at the box office the night of the performance, and ArtsTix at www.sdartstix.com

San Diego Performing Arts Center is located at: 4579 Mission Gorge Place in San Diego.  Visit www.visionarydancetheatre.org for more information.