A fresh start awaits Titan Theatre’s school year with new faces in not only the audience, but at the front of the classroom. With real world experiences in theatre and acting, Allison Robertson brings her skills to theatre students of all grade levels and envisions a bright future for the program.
Uncertainty rattled the brains of theatre veterans wondering what would change and what would stay the same with the first new theatre teacher since the school opened. After officers spoke with Robertson about her plans, the president of Titan Theatre informed the other members that there was no need to worry about drastic change.
“She said to us that she doesn’t really want to change it up very much,” junior Ethan Crane said. “She wants to keep what we’ve had going. She’s understanding of the students and what they’ve had so she knows ‘people don’t wanna change,’ so we’ve discussed what we like, what we wanna keep, and there are a few little changes [that she wanted to make] on her own.”
Though Robertson wanted to make some changes, such as incorporating college level theatre into the curriculum, she wanted to give students the opportunity to go through with what they had been looking forward to.
“The playwrights who’ve written plays and want to direct them and take them to our district competition will get to do that,” Robertson said. “We’re gonna maintain the senior show and then a spring show. I’m considering adding a musical in every now and then, not as a regular thing, but more variety in what performances are done overall, but at the same time, this year, not rocking that boat yet.”
Senior Lucas Laguer, who has been involved in theatre since eighth grade, believed the addition of advanced curriculum would benefit the program and empower the newer students to invest more into theatre.
“If we treat it like a serious thing, like if it’s college level, not just reading plays from a book,” Laguer said. “If she’s actually teaching us strategies and how to enhance our performances and learn about these different techniques, I feel like they’ll have a new understanding of theatre and a new appreciation for it.”
Robertson has real world experience on professional stages and films, making acting and directing, what she says, are her strong points. On top of degrees in English and theatre, Robertson has taught university level theatre, acting, and literature classes.
“I’ve worked in theatre professionally, I’ve seen how you get there and get your job,” Robertson said. “Teaching at the university level gives me the insight for what these students need to have accomplished in high school in order to be successful when they get to college.”
Aside from her background, her positive energy going into the year stood out to some of the seniors in the program. The nervousness they experienced over summer disappeared after seeing how Robertson interacted with everyone she met.
“She’s just super-duper excited to get to know every single person,” senior Damiana Alicea said. “There’s not one person that she hasn’t asked a question to to see more insight on who they are as her students. She’s super enthusiastic about it and that’s what makes all of the older theatre kids and the seniors be like ‘Ah, this’ll be a breeze, I’m not that nervous anymore.’”
The adjustment period is underway, and while some theatre students were nervous for a new beginning at first, getting to know Robertson made them realize that there would be a smooth transition. Theatre is in the hands of an experienced teacher with a bright personality, and the rest of the year lies before her and the program to show what they’re capable of.