Theatre People (#17) - David Peterson | Theatre Avenue

Theatre People (#17) - David Peterson | Theatre Avenue

Happy Friday, and welcome back to TheatrePeople—where we celebrate the fine folks who have committed themselves to telling great stories on the stage. And even more so, investing their time and talent into so many other people along the way. Today, I'm stoked to introduce you to high school theatre teacher and director David Peterson from Parker, Colorado. David is incredibly committed to his students and the shows they produce together. His quiet generosity and creativity have made many waves in his school and beyond. Hope you enjoy David's theatrical thoughts this week!

David Peterson, high school theatre teacher and show director in Colorado.

What’s a show that inspires you? (explain away!)

The play You Can’t Take It With You has always been a play that reminds me of how I want to live my life. I first saw it as a middle schooler and knew then that happiness over money was a lifelong goal.

The musical Ragtime is a truly moving story as well. Its rich music, beautiful story, and reminders of how truly equal we should always be treated is a powerful combination.

What’s one of your happiest moments in theatre?

The stillness of a critical moment in the story when the tension is at a breaking point is my happiest moment. In a drama, it is the moment the audience is sucked into the story. In a comedy, it is the moment before everyone bursts with laughter.  When the artists can work together to tell a story that removes people from reality, to make them be present in the new reality, that is the beauty of art.

What’s the biggest ‘fail’ or goof you’ve seen on stage? (do tell the story)

During a performance of Catch Me If You Can, my lead actress took one too many steps towards the edge of the stage and fell off the front. I jumped out of my seat and was ready to stop the show, but she popped back up, sat on the edge of the stage, and finished the song.

Why do you love theatre?

Where else can we tell a lie to someone who knows we are lying and they still believe us. There is magic in the world of theatre!

Theatre is for...


Through the stories we get to tell as theatre artists, we have the opportunity to build empathy, comprehension of others, and bring to light the tales of humans often untold or overlooked. As the actors, designer, director, or even audience member we get to dissect the lives of people from times we might know little about. We can understand the life of another we know them.

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