Drama Teacher

Occupation Story

Jan 1, 1974

840 W State St, Columbus, Ohio, USA


I thought I might talk a little bit about some of the plays that I directed as a high school drama teacher. For my graduate degree, I did the play, "Inherit the Wind," which is about the Richard Scopes Monkey Trial. A Tennessee teacher got arrested for teaching the theory of evolution. After the play we tested every student in the school filled out a questionnaire. And we did not change anybody's religious sensibilities, which is what we were looking for. That was what we were trying to figure out - if it would influence it. But it didn't. That play got me in a little bit of trouble. One fundamentalist church leader thought I ought to be fired for doing it, but none of them had seen saw what we have done with the play, because we had adapted it a little bit so it wouldn't be offensive to anyone.

Jeff and Betsy were both in "The Teahouse of the August Moon." They were oriental children and sat around doing pseudo wrestling matches. It's an Army play. Jeff must've been five/six years old. He and Betsy were in that. Betsy was also in, as high school students, "By The Skin of Our Teeth." She was a dinosaur that did not live through the ice age. I think that's the only time we used them.

We did "Diary of Anne Frank" and that was kid of impressive. After it was over, we sent a letter to Otto Frank, who was still alive at the time, hoping that he would respond to our production. But we never did hear from him.

We did some musicals, some the old Sigmond Romberg stuff. Then we did "Carousel" and "Oklahoma." They were fun to work with. We did "The Little Foxes," which has just come out and turned into a movie. We had good luck getting a good cast.

When we did the "Diary of Anne Frank," the young girl was playing Ann told her parents she was in a play, but she didn't tell them what role she had, which of course was the lead until they got to the play and saw what she was. I always thought that was funny. She was my daughter Betsy's age, and she said she was going to come to dinner at our house one night. I think we would like that. But she set it up with the Betsy, and she did come to dinner, and that was fun.