Freeport resident lives dream by publishing books, working in theater

A creative writing class at Freeport Area Senior High School would help jump-start Britt Kolek’s interest in pursuing writing novels.

At the time, she was interested in Marvel and DC comics. When her teacher de ella tasked the class with writing a story, she decided to write hers about a superhero. She thought of writing three books about three chosen people and how they used their powers.

“I had my own idea for writing three separate stories that are loosely connected. In the fourth one, they are all going to come together,” she said.

Kolek started writing her first book, “Raging” at 18 years old. The book follows Luna Lindsey, who gets chosen to have super powers and is told to use them for good.

That book would be five years in the making, as she had to put it on the back burner to give her attention to other projects she pursued. She self-publishes her books by her on a website called lulu.com.

She has sold more than 200 books.

“It has been incredible to see the evolution in my writing,” she said.

Gina Peat, a 10th grade English teacher at Freeport Area High School, said it has been wonderful seeing Kolek’s growth over the years. Peat met Kolek during her ninth grade year when Kolek was initially insecure about her writing de ella. Kolek’s confidence would begin to peak as she met with Peat to go over her poetry and short stories of her. From the meetings, Kolek entered a talent show and ended up winning.

Since then, the pair have established a friendship through Kolek’s academic and professional life.

“I am insanely proud of her,” Peat said. “I am mostly proud of her work ethic.”

Peat said she looks forward to seeing what Kolek accomplishes as she embarks on her journey.

“I don’t know if I have known anyone to be so passionate about their work before,” Peat said.

She plans to go back to rewrite her earlier books after acquiring more skills and knowledge. When publishing, she prefers to give out copies first to her friends and family to get their initial thoughts.

Her interest in writing would come in handy as she immersed herself in the theater world. During her last two years of high school, Kolek assisted with various musicals, plays and show choir shows.

“It helped teach me more about theater in general,” she said.

Kolek attended the University of Mount Union in Ohio, where she majored in English and technical theater. After graduating last year, her high school English teacher de ella would be instrumental in helping her land a job at a theater company.

Peat sent her a message telling her about openings at Prime Stage Theater.

“It just happened by chance,” Peat said. “I follow Prime Stage Theater on Facebook. As a teacher, I have taken my students down to see shows they have done.”

Kolek signed a six-month contract with Prime Stage Theater to work two shows. She wrapped up with being an assistant stage manager for “A Wrinkle in Time” at the New Hazlett Theater this month. She will be a stage manager for the show “Arsenic and Old Lace” in May.

“I feel like I am using both of my degrees, which is a dream come true,” she said.

Tanisha Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tanisha at 412-480-7306, tthomas@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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