Welcome back to TheatrePeople! This week I'm so excited to introduce you to Carolyn Lewton, a middle school drama teacher and director who has poured her heart and passion into theatre—making her an extraordinary educator and advocate for the stage. Hope you enjoy Carolyn's theatrical musings and have a great weekend!
What’s a show that inspires you? (explain away!)
I love the musical In the Heights. I still get chills whenever I listen to this music! This show inspires me because it reminds me that theatre can come from ordinary places, like how this show was inspired by his own upbringing. I think that is part of the magic of theatre, we get to travel to all of these places and meet all of these new characters, and we are still able to connect with something or someone in the story. I also think that this show inspires me because it emphasizes the importance of telling the story. When all of the pieces fit together (the acting and the tech) the end result is something beautiful and magical.
What’s one of your happiest moments in theatre?
It’s hard to choose a favorite show that I’ve directed, although I really enjoyed directing Mary Poppins Jr. last spring. However, my favorite moment of all is circle time before a show. Yes, the cast and crew may change, but our traditions keep us connected and I love watching the pride and excitement that students get before a show.
What’s the biggest ‘fail’ or goof you’ve seen on stage? (do tell the story)
During one of our performances of Sally Cotter and The Censored Stone there is a scene where the students are playing a game of Quzzicalish (a much more confusing game of Quidditch). There is a large stuffed animal fight. I don’t know how we acquired a giant teddy bear, but somehow this ginormous (I’m talking Costco size) bear gets thrown at our student playing Reubenon Ryebread. Though it didn’t knock him over, the bear was able to rip off his fake beard. In true middle school fashion, my actor looked up slightly stunned, then looked at the audience and said, “I shaved.” I couldn’t hold back my laughter after that.
Why do you love theatre?
It’s home. Theatre has always been my comfort and the place where I have felt that I could be myself 100%. It’s given me my best friends and memories on and off stage that I will have for a lifetime. It’s extremely hard work and it is very time consuming but the ultimate outcome of what you’re creating makes it all worth it.
Theatre is for...
Think of all the things you get to experience in the theatre that you might not get to do in real life?! Theatre allows us to walk another’s journey, to experience their feelings and their life but also travel to new, exciting places.
More about Carolyn
Carolyn is about to begin her 7th year as the theatre teacher and director at Cimarron Middle School in Parker, CO. When she isn't teaching or directing, Carolyn is probably watching Disney movies with her husband, daughter and two dogs. When she grows up she either wants to be Minnie Mouse or Mary Poppins.
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