Greendale — Eric Christiansen, Greendale High School's theater director, described alumna Katie Postotnik in two words: triple threat.
"She can dance, she can sing and she can act," Christiansen said. "She clearly was a very talented actress (in school). She could do it all."
Postotnik, who once performed in three of Christiansen's school productions, is now the female lead in the national Broadway play, "Ghost The Musical."
Based on the 1990 film which starred Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg, "Ghost" is the love story about a dead man who returns as a spirit to protect his lover from the very same men who killed him.
Postotnik plays Moore's role as Molly Jensen, the lover who must consult with a spiritual medium to reconnect with her deceased beau.
"Being in 'Ghost' is really exciting," Postotnik said during a telephone interview. "It's fun touring and visiting new cities, especially when people are seeing it for the first time."
"Ghost" is Postotnik's second acting role in the national Broadway circuit, having served as the main female lead for the "Rock of Ages" musical.
The musical opened in Chicago on Jan. 7 and will begin its U.S. tour Tuesday.
Postotnik, whose parents still live in Greendale, now lives in New York City. During the holidays, however, she took the time to visit with Christiansen's theater students during a break from rehearsal in December.
"I think it's important to give back and to pay it forward," Postotnik said. "I told the kids to follow their dreams, and I wanted to give them a taste of what it's like to be in Broadway."
The actress spoke about her experience in Broadway and the persistence it took to get there, Christiansen said.
"It's inspiring for the students, especially if it's someone interested in pursuing that dream," he said. "There's a sense of 'I can do that' after meeting someone who really did. If you think something is more possible, you are more apt to try it."
And trying is half the battle, Postotnik said.
"I think that (acting) is really hard work and you just have to be persistent," she said. "You have to work hard on your craft and then something will happen."
To inspire the students even more, Christiansen scheduled a field trip to Chicago to see Postotnik on stage at the Oriental Theatre on Jan. 10. Twenty-five students attended the production of "Ghost."
"It's really a spectacular production," Christiansen said. "We were lucky enough to get a backstage tour and meet with Katie as well as the lead male role."
For more information about Postotnik, visit her personal website at www.katiepostotnik.com. Information about "Ghost the Musical" can be found at GhostOnTour.com.