‘Teacher’ brings fresh ideas

Erin Fowler, Staff Writer

A new perspective has been brought to the UPJ theater stage by the August addition of John Teacher to the Theatre Department’s staff.

According to Teacher, the Theatre Department at UPJ is unique.

“I haven’t found a student who doesn’t have a go-get-it attitude. It’s wonderful.”

Teacher has brought an impeccable eye for detail and craftsmanship, said theater professor Ann Marie Stewart.

“The first change we saw was that the old scene shop was completely leveled. They relocated to the rear of the Physical Plant building. It was a huge undertaking,” said Stewart.

According to Stewart, the relocation was labor-intensive as scenes from 20 years of UPJ plays were moved and organized, including stock pieces that are reused to create new sets.

“He has totally stepped up to the challenge,” Stewart said.

In terms of other possible improvements, Teacher said he and Stewart are looking into the potential of touring with the theater department. Though timeconsuming and expensive, touring has great potential, Teacher said.

Also, they would like to collaborate with other departments in the university to promote and develop new shows.

Teacher received his undergraduate degree from Lock Haven University and his masters degree from Virginia Tech.

He has years of experience in theater arts including designing and producing shows for Greater Latrobe Senior High School and working in Juniata College’s Theatre Department.

He is to teach three classes at UPJ – Stage Craft I and Lighting Design, Stage Craft II and Lighting Design, and History of Dramatic Arts.

The Theatre Department is gaining popularity among students with the addition of a Theatre Club and the initiative to create a theater minor.

The Theatre Department fall production “Lend me a Tenor” is underway. A spring production of “Chicago” is planned.

“If you think what we’re doing now is good, it’s only going to get better.” said Teacher.