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Casted: Theater directors

A look into the new directors

Hebron+Theatre+together+at+the+Homecoming+Parade.
Hebron Theatre together at the Homecoming Parade.

Hebron Theatre together at the Homecoming Parade.

Hebron Theatre together at the Homecoming Parade.

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After saying goodbye to Dusty Thompson, Thomas LeGalley, and Tyler Brodess, three of the theater directors last year, new directors have stepped forward to take their place. They join Andrea Throop, theater’s costume director, who has worked with the theater for six years. Theater’s first show will be Encore’s production of “The Farnsworth Invention,” on Nov. 3, 4, and 5.

 

Ryan Heitzman poses for a photo in Encore.

Ryan Heitzman poses for a photo in Encore.

Ryan Heitzman, acting director

Q: Where did you teach before you came to Hebron?

  • Deerbrook High School
  • North Shore High School

Q: Why did you become a director?

A: I had always been in theater, ever since high school. I had chosen to go and pursue a professional career, but I got married. My former wife had multiple sclerosis, which is a incurable disease of the brain. Being an actor and a director freelancing doesn’t provide insurance, so I had to figure out something. So I started doing my research and trying to figure out a day job that I could have, and I chose to become a theater teacher. Little did I know, that I was going to fall in love with teaching.

Q: What do you feel you contribute most to the theater program?

A: I don’t necessarily see myself as somebody special. I don’t look at myself and think that I’m any different than any other theater teacher. I have a process that has been very successful. I’ve been to State UIL and things like that. But I think that our team is really what I would like to focus on. What we have is four directors who are all student-centric. We want to provide the best opportunity and experience for all of our students, and we all care about our kids, a lot. We want to do good theater, but we really care about the kids, even more than that.

Q: Anything in particular you’re excited for this year?

A: Everything. I’m looking forward to everything. I’m looking forward to the Improv Team, because I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to compete against other schools in Improv. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to do a musical. I’m looking forward to One Act because I think that we’re finally going to put Hebron on the map, and really make some waves in One Act.

Q: Do you have any advice to people in the theater program?

A: I think my best advice would be the advice I have given to every single student since I started teaching, and that is to be a sponge. Everything that you do, and everything that you’re around, the more that you absorb life, the better actor, the better techie, you get to be. Theater is obviously the closet art form that I can think of that holds a mirror up to society, and is a microcosm of the greater society in which we live. So, the more that you’re able to be a sponge, the more that you’re able to learn from all of your experiences, good, bad, or indifferent, makes you a better artist.


 

Corey Broom poses for a selfie with the theatre department.

Corey Broom poses for a selfie with the theatre department.

Cory Broom, acting director

Q: Where did you teach before you came to Hebron?

  • Little Cyprus High School

Q: Why did you become a director?

A: I had a wonderful experience with my high school theater director. I was involved in One Act plays and Thespians. She made a really lasting impact on me and a lot of my friends. I thought if I could provide that same sort of influence for kids, why not? It’s a great thing to do; it’s a great career.

Q: What do you feel you contribute most to the theater program?

A: I feel like my experiences are broad, because I was the head director at my last school, and we did advance to the State One Act play competition, so we were fairly successful. So, I think having that experience and a skill set that really focuses on acting and directing, I think that those things are all really really beneficial. Some of the different directors; we all tend to have different skill sets, but I think mine is probably the most advanced in acting and directing.

Q: Anything in particular you’re excited for this year?

A: I’m looking forward to working with the kids here, and our directorial team is also talented. All of our skill sets are really different, so I’m excited about what we can bring to the stage this year.

Q: Do you have any advice to people in the theater program?

A: Stick with it. One thing I’ve already learned is that this is a huge department with a ton of talented kids, and we do our best as directors to make sure that everybody gets some stage time. If you really love it, just stick with it and hang in there, and have fun doing what you do.


 

Elizabeth Shurr welcomes her students into the Fine Arts hall.

Elizabeth Shurr welcomes her students into the Fine Arts hall.

Elizabeth Shurr, tech director

Q: Where did you teach before you came to Hebron?

  • Lone Star HS
  • Staley Middle School

Q: Why did you become a director?

A: I have been doing theater since I was little and wanted theater to be a part of my life. I love creating “life” on stage to share with an audience and promote student experience at the same time.

Q: What do you feel you contribute most to the theater program?

A: I feel I contribute years of experience in professional and educational theater that I can share with my students. I also feel that I am a mentor for any and all students who may not feel sure of themselves and/or a situation they are currently in.

Q: Do you have any anything in particular you’re excited for this year?

A: I am very excited to for all the shows and to create a positive environment by fostering long lasting relationships with students and directors.

Q: Advice to people in the theater program?

A: Grace and humility go a long way. You never know when you will catch someone’s eye in the theater world or the world in fact, who will someday become a large part of your life. Always be on your toes and always dance like nobody’s watching.

 

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Casted: Theater directors