Teaching, Directing, Writing: A Unique Situation

I am an English teacher turned History teacher turned Drama teacher. It was a long and unexpected road to arrive where I currently am – and I’m in no mood for a personal history lesson at the moment.

As a teacher I get to also direct drama and as a writer I get to direct and teach dramas that I write. It’s really fun for me to do that, but it also creates a unique situation for my actors.

Here’s an example that happened today in my Theatre Arts class. Two of my senior actors decided they want to do a solo act for their final project of the year, and they asked me to write for them specifically a script for them to perform. I don’t suppose there are too many high school drama classes that has a resident playwright who can write specifically for the actors.

I feel honored that they want me to write for them, and since I’ve known them for years, I already have an idea of the type of script which would enable them to thrive. In addition, I as the playwright can work alongside the actor, using their ideas to incorporate into the script.

That’s my task for this weekend: write two solo acts. My students have to give me all of their ideas or suggestions by Friday and then I’ll let the creative process take over.

Once the script if finished, I’ll go back and forth with the actors, changing what needs to be changed until we are both happy with the final product. At that point, I get to put back on my director’s and teacher’s hat and work with the actors on their performance as they get ready for their show.

It’s such a fun and creative process, and I’m so fortunate to be in this unique setting.

I really love writing drama. Perhaps I’ll post an excerpt of what I come up with later next week.

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