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New Theatre Director Talks About Experiences, Changes This Year

Kieren Garner, Reporter

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Every year brings new musicals, plays and one-act shows from the theatre department. However, this year has brought a new theatre director.

Alisa Mirabella has been teaching theatre for 22 years and just recently came from teaching at Running Brushy Middle School. Mirabella had wanted to apply to teach high school for several years, but was told that she did not have enough high school experience. So, for six years she volunteered at Leander High School and helped with every musical. Finally, a job opened up here and she went straight for applying. Even though Mirabella said that she expected the transition from middle school to high school to be challenging, she said that she has been pleasantly surprised.

“Everybody has been so welcoming and so helpful,” Mirabella said. “I’m shocked. I actually thought moving to high school would be hard for me, but it’s just been awesome.”

This December, the department will be performing the musical Legally Blonde, instead of Jekyll and Hyde which was the planned musical. Mirabella said her reasoning for choosing Legally Blonde is because she wanted to do something happy.

“That’s the happiest musical I could think of,” Mirabella said. “The cast needed to be very large, so it made the department much more inclusive.”

This year, she said that with the new musical, old traditions are coming back and classes will be changed as well.

Sitting in her new desk, the new theatre teacher, Alisa Mirabella, relaxes in her office before starting class. Mirabella came here from Running Brushy Middle School and said she was pleasantly surprised with the transition from middle school to high school. “Everybody has been so welcoming and so helpful,” Mirabella said. “I’m shocked. I actually thought moving to high school would be hard for me, but it’s just been awesome.”

“We are going to be doing some more exploring through games and activities,” Mirabella said. “For our One Act Play, we’re going to bring back going to a cabin as a bonding experience before the first competition.”

Junior Devin Cannon who has been in theatre for about four years, said that he was nervous when he was met with the news that he would be getting a new theatre teacher.

“It was just a completely different person, I didn’t know anything about her, I didn’t know what to expect,”  Cannon said. “But now that I’ve gotten to know her, I really have learned to respect her. She’s a great person and I don’t question her ethics at all.”

Sophomore John Courtright said that it feels like a completely different program with the addition of Mirabella, and the atmosphere has changed within the department.

“This year is a lot less stressful, and it’s a happy place to come to,” Courtright said. “As soon as I walked into the room on the first day, I thought- this is fantastic.”

Courtright said he has high hopes for this year in terms of a more organized theatre department and for everyone to become even more of a family.

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