From the stage to the classroom


The curtain is closed. The stage is set. It’s just a different stage.

For teacher Thomas LeGalley, his Broadway stage transitioned to a classroom one, but Broadway was never something he had planned on.

Before the stage was in his sights, LeGalley attended Marcus High School. Ironically, he taught at their rival, Flower Mound High School, for six years after.

“I just knew that I wanted to do more or better or bigger,” LeGalley said.

Searching for something more, LeGalley attended SMU for his Master of Fine Arts in costume design.

“The teachers there were just really supportive,” LeGalley said. “They always would ask you ‘Well when you do this on Broadway’… and you’re like ‘Oh that’s cute’ and finally I graduated and was like I’ll either go teach high school again, which wasn’t really the goal, or I’ll move to New York.”

While in New York City, LeGalley worked in 60 shows in roughly five years. LeGalley was an intern on “Shrek,” a designer on “Lysistrata Jones” and the associate designer on “Kinky Boots.” Despite the learning curve of living in New York City, LeGalley also faced a challenge adjusting to a different theater atmosphere.

“Everything is more difficult in New York,” LeGalley said. “’Cause it involves a subway and a truck and parking and you have to get a ticket and you have to talk to the elevator operator. On Broadway you can make a decision and it could mean win or lose, or yes or no, or hit or not a hit. There’s just a lot more riding on it. The stakes are higher.”

After the death of LeGalley’s older sister, he realized the importance of family and moved back home to North Texas in June of 2014. Despite closing a huge chapter of his life, LeGalley doesn’t regret coming home. As he sat in the front row of the last show he worked on, and saw the $6,000 suit he made for an actor, he realized how blessed he was to get this opportunity.

“I realize that people work their entire lives and never get the opportunities that I have, so I am incredibly grateful for that,” LeGalley said. “I remember the last show I did. It was Grease. It opened two days later I flew back to Texas. I remember sitting in the front row watching this moment come together. It was just this spectacular moment. I got really emotional realizing that this was the end.”

LeGalley expects greatness from his students just like he expected greatness from himself on Broadway. His passion for theater survived through the trenches of Broadway and into his classroom as Director of Technical Theatre.

“It’s possible for anyone,” LeGalley said. “I don’t think I’m special. I think you have to believe that it’s possible and you can achieve it. It doesn’t have to be Broadway. Broadway is just the top of the theatre world. You can be in the Super Bowl. You can be the best. And I hope I can instill that in students.