By Noelle Gardner.
This year, Heritage has a new high school drama teacher: Mrs. Gardner. After so many years with our beloved Mr. Helmbold, the change felt abrupt to many, and was difficult for many more. Still, the program has continued this year with many changes. For one, the fall semester play and spring semester musical were announced much earlier and the drama classes now consist of more structured curriculum and topics. With all these differences in teaching styles, many students aiming to get ahead want to know more about what’s to come…and more about Mrs. Gardner. An inside scoop reveals things many theater students may be itching to know.
How can students get ahead in the program?
Work hard, stay on task, be prepared, take direction, try new things, meet deadlines, stay positive, and be humble and kind.
Do you plan on making the Heritage drama program more professional?
Yes, of course. The Heritage Drama students are exceptionally talented and such hard workers. I can’t wait to see what they create.
Why did you decide to teach drama?
I teach drama because it is my passion and joy in life. I love to create and tell stories through voice, movement, and character work.
What do you think the best quality is to have for a drama student?
Go for it! Going for it and taking risks in class, which leads to great creative discoveries and growth.
Does having children at the school change your approach to teaching?
No, but having my children at this school and in my classes helps me to relate to my students, and I am more invested in the program.
Why did you choose Murder’s in the Heir for the school play?
Because it was an ensemble show, all the actors were featured equally, and it was fun and a comedy.
What’s important to you when choosing shows to put on?
I have to absolutely love them and want to live in them for months at a time. They also have to have a very uplifting and worthy message that changes our community for good.
Are there any other big changes we can look forward to?
I hope so. Theater is alive and ever changing. Change pushes us to grow and evolve. There’s always change in art. Art is never static.
As evidenced, Mrs. Gardner is good at expressing her thoughts in a precise way, which has definitely attributed to her capability in directing. The fall play was a beautiful success, and those involved in the musical process can say that West Side Story is on its way to rock the Heritage Academy stage with a hard-working director dedicated to making it the best it can be.