Getting to know a guest theater director

Karen Gossett was hired as a guest director for the upcoming Bravo shows “Up the Downstairs” and “Distracted.” After previously working in Denton ISD and having continued connections with theater director Thomas LeGalley, Gossett was chosen for this position. She was hired in late February and her work ended on April 30, as the production is this weekend.

Question: What are your basic duties in that role?

Answer: The job is a director’s dream. I was given a group of very talented but specific students, two scripts, and … go! We auditioned in two days and then the students were left with directors to learn lines and study scripts until I returned. I then came back with ideas and design concepts, which the technical classes executed beautifully, and began the journey of making a production come to life. I left the week before the show opened and the Hebron directors and students put in that last bit of magic.

Q: When you aren’t at Hebron, what are you doing?

A: I am a retired teacher, who now resides in Fayetteville, AR, closer to her children and grandchildren. I realized I retired before my time and am now working part time with various theater companies and schools.

Q: Have you been involved with theater your whole life?

A: Theater became a part of my life probably around 6th or 7th grade. My father performed in community theatre productions and it just became a part of my life – I haven’t stopped.

Q: What is your fondest memory in theater?

A: There are too many memories to pick one, but watching students transform and become leaders in society, whether it be in a Broadway production, a winning UIL one act play director, a doctor, a lawyer … a mom, is a proud moment that lasts forever. Theatre is truly a universal  genre that affects all involved. It breeds success.

Q: What is your favorite theatrical production?

A: I have two favorite theatrical productions:

My favorite show that I have directed was a middle school production of “Guys and Dolls.” It wasn’t only full of talent, but was a true student production from the choreography to the sets, costumes, music … it was a true magical phenomenon. As an actor, I must say playing Ms. Mazeppa in “Gypsy” was pure theatrical fun!

Q: As far as students go, what are your impressions of the Hebron students?

A: I have mentioned this several times to the students, directors and the administrators – I have never experienced such respect and passion for the art. It was an honor and delight to work with such talented and committed students.

Q: If you could describe the spring show in a sentence, what would it be?

A: The spring show is a journey of educational magic, culminating in touching performances that will entertain as well as share important stories.