Newest Theatre Department Additions Rogers Heritage High School

Lexi Gray and JJ Wells

Heritage High School recently hired a new theatre director, Michael Schwartz. Schwartz was introduced as a teacher after the previous theatre teacher, Mrs. Poorman, resigned. Schwartz has big plans for the theatre department. His biggest goal this year is to put on two full plays, one each semester. This year he is aiming for more mature plays to bring in a larger and more diverse audience, as well as more eager cast members. Previous years had relatively juvenile plays and not very much commitment. To combat this, Schwartz is limiting auditions to only theatre students. With the intent of having fewer problems like in previous years, Schwartz is assigning understudies, grades based on participation, everyday practice, and motivating students more for more passionate students. To improve Heritage students acting as a whole, Schwartz is focusing more on acting theories, history, methods, etc.

Joanna Chavez, senior and theatre student last year, “I feel like I’ve already learned a lot more with Mr. Schwartz than I did with Mrs. Poorman last year.”

Many students find Schwartz as a kind, supportive, and trusting teacher. Another one of Schwartz’s goals is to want to be the best teacher he can be. Not only does he feel it is the right thing to do, but he also hopes by doing this more students will talk and encourage their friends to join theatre as well. More ways he plans on expanding the class is by having a concrete idea of what the class is going to be. He wants to keep his Theatre class strictly focused on theatre and his Technical Theatre class to do everything technical theatre should be doing. Technical Theatre reorganizes everything in the theater. Technical Theatre is a hands-on class that covers work in lighting, sound, stage management, costume design, set design, and other areas of theatre production. They set the tone for the performance. These students create settings, letting the audience know where they are, what time it is, and what kind of day it is. This creates what is arguably the most important element of a play. Schwartz showed his students different methods for creating props and outfits for backstage and performances to do this all.

Eleanor MacConnell, senior and fourth-year Theatre student, “I just wanna say that I have had Theatre every year of high school and it has been and always will be my favorite class. I also have a feeling that this year is going to be the best with Mr. Schwartz.”

This year is the year everything changes for the better. As Technical Theatre builds everything in preparation for the play, Michael Schwartz rebuilds the meaning of Rogers Heritage High School’s Theatre Department.