Anderson plays a new role


Stephanie Pickens, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Stephanie Pickens  – Anderson watches students practice before performing for the class. This is her first year of teaching theater here at Rangeview. 

As the year rolls on, the adjustment to new teachers can be different at first, but can be a determined change. The replacement of Mr. Hill for the theater program at Rangeview is one that some may not have seen coming.

Mrs. Anderson has stepped in for teaching theater arts, though it is not her first time.

I have worked in theatre and taught it before,” Anderson said. “It’s what I studied in college and grad school, and through my career, I’ve taught theatre to a wide variety of ages: from elementary school kids to college students.”

The Rangeview performing arts program offers the classes technical theater, intro to theater, unified theater, and advanced performing arts (APA).

The theater program is definitely seeing a change.

“I legit had no idea it was going to happen before Hill told us,” says junior Nevaeh Zilka who is involved in the APA program. Zilka has been involved in performing arts here since her freshman year.

“… Mrs. Anderson plans lessons more thoroughly. Her teaching style is definitely different, so I’m still adjusting to the change.”

With this in mind, what things were different with Hill?

“He was a spur of the moment type of teacher; if we had something we needed to do, we work on it that day,” Zilka said. “Things would switch about day to day.”

Students in Unified Theater rehearse a performance that they created in their small group. Unified Theater is a class during 6th period. (Stephanie Pickens)

Another huge change for the APA classes (APA Drama and APA Musical) was combining them. Originally, before the departure of Mr. Hill, these two classes were planned to be separate classes.

“I feel like it was out of convenience because it’s easier to plan for one lesson for one class of advanced performing arts kids,” Zilka said.

Amidst all the stress and loudness that comes from such a big class, a positive aspect Anderson also says is having a combination of both types of performing arts, giving students the opportunity to explore both fields and be even more creative.

“She’s challenging us a lot more … and jumping in it quickly,” says junior Aris Bluh.

Mrs. Anderson has directed two plays at RHS, gaining experience with what executing a successful, finished performance can look like. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare and Almost Maine by John Cariani were performed under her directing within the past two years.

“Theater is a much more intense job,” says Anderson. “I have a lot of different kinds of classes and performances to prepare for, so it keeps me busy. The change was quite unexpected. When Mr. Hill went to another school, I agreed to transfer to the theater department so I could keep working with the very talented students in the program.”

“I know that I have big shoes to fill.”

With new plays and musicals rolling out this year, what can we expect from our theater department?

Zilka answers, “She has a cool concept for the second play this year, and I think it’s really different and fun and fresh. It’ll be a change from the traditional play setting and has a lot of audience interaction.”

Mrs. Anderson is determined to make theater fun and interactive.

“I want to do what we’ve always done: work as an ensemble to put on thoughtful and well-crafted shows,” she said.