New Directors Breathe Life into Theater Guild

kendra and joanne

English teacher Kendra Donovan, left, and Special Education teacher Joanne White are the new theater guild advisers this year.  photo by Hannah Boben

Jillian Donahue, Veritas Staff

Joanne White and Kendra Donovan know they have big shoes to fill, but the two new theater guild advisers have full confidence that their first play, The Odd Couple, will be a success.
With only a theater appreciation course in college, Mrs. Donovan admits that she has a limited background in directing. Her only acting experiences, she said, were during Shakespeare college courses and her starring role as Johnny Appleseed’s wife in second grade.

But she enjoys plays. “As an English major/teacher I love theater so I’ve always wanted to get involved in something like this.” She also says that she loves going to Boston and New York to see Broadway shows.

On the other hand, Ms. White was involved in theater throughout high school and minored in it in college. She also does a little theater and improv in her free time. She says she wanted to be a director at RHS because she loves theater and knew it would be a challenge. Ms. White says she also wanted to get to know students that she wouldn’t normally get to work with.
Mrs. Donovan says the experience has been great. “We have a lot of laughs and I’ve even gotten to step on the stage to play a role when a student has been absent. I think the cast would agree I’m ready for Broadway.”

Ms. White says the cast is very talented and everyone has been very helpful. The cast tries to practice almost every day in the auditorium from 4:30 to 5:30. She says, “We’re definitely in crunch time until the performance.”
Ms. White explained that she goes to biology teacher, Angelina Armstrong for help when there’s a problem or if she has a question. Mrs. Armstrong was the theater guild adviser at RHS for a long time. Ms. White says she has been “immensely helpful and we could not have done this without her support.”

Ms. White says that she wouldn’t mind continuing in this position with Mrs. Donovan if all goes well.
“Being a theater director has allowed me to have fun creatively, and I love that.”
Leah DeCecco who has been involved in music and theater throughout high school likes the new theater advisers.
“Ms. Donovan and Ms. White are doing absolutely fantastic! They are really handling their roles as directors with distinction and there is no doubt in my mind that they will put up brilliant performances. As directors, they are demanding but they approach everything with an attitude of fun, and I am loving them both!”

While the advisers wanted to start off with something a little easier and funny to get themselves comfortable with directing, they have big plans for a musical in the spring that will bring plenty of challenges.

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