Rockbridge’s Revived Theater Program


Theater students rehearsing for the Wizard of Oz

Grace Shaw, Social Media Manager

If you happen to walk down the halls of Rockbridge County High School during 7th period, you will most likely hear voices and music streaming from the auditorium. These are the sounds of RCHS’s freshly revived theater program. 

Art teacher Erin Allen has taken on the role of teaching the class and directing the upcoming play with the help of music and chorus teacher Miranda Fitzgerald. 

“At the close of last school year, we restructured the Fine Arts programming for our school for this school year,” said Ms. Allen, “In doing so, I was able to submit a proposal to teach a theatre class, as I have a background in theatre teaching/directing and I am working on my Creative Dramatic Writing Masters degree.” 

This class looks different than the program used to. In past years the program was simply a club that met after school in the auditorium to learn about theater and do small productions.

“I know that performances were mainly One Act plays and smaller productions in the most recent years,” said Allen. 

Senior Parizad Irani is very involved in the program this year and has been in past years as well.

“My role in the upcoming The Wizard of Oz is Dorothy,” said Irani, “I’m really excited about the opportunity to play this role because I’ve loved theater for as long as I can remember and it’s a big role in the production.”

The class takes place during 7th period everyday and is quite large. They use the auditorium to rehearse and work on different things and both teachers play a key role in keeping the class running smoothly. In order to do this, there are a lot of moving parts to take care of daily. 

“We are running the script, blocking scenes, and learning choreography. We are also practicing projection – getting our voices loud enough to be heard .Mrs. Fitz, the music director, and I are working hard to purchase wearable mics that will create a quality theatre experience,” said Allen.

For students, class stays busy everyday with the different tasks they have to make sure the show goes off without a hitch.

“Learning my lines and the music is a big task,” said Irani, “It’s only been challenging due to the sheer amount of lines I have to memorize, but it’s coming along.”

The sounds of Theater make the commons and office area come alive during 7th period everyday and the students and teachers are the people that make that happen.

“I love every part of the class.  I love seeing the student actors learn how to express their characters, how to interact with other actors in a scene, and I love the process and results of blocking and choreography,” said Allen, “The costumes and sets, which are partially constructed by Mr. Tuttle’s classes and also by my husband, are going to be amazing – which is exciting for everyone involved.”

The play will take place March 25 and 26 with a time to be decided. For now the teachers and students in the Theater program are continuing to work on making The Wizard of Oz, a play that no one forgets while keeping it fun and learning a lot.