New faces on stage and off for RHS play
The students on stage aren't the only ones learning new roles for Rosemount High School's fall play. There's a fresh face in the director's chair, too.
Mark Hubbard came to RHS last year to teach an animation class. When he asked about getting involved in the theater program he figured he'd get a chance to join the tech crew or fill some other low-level role. So when longtime director Thom Hoffman offered him a chance to direct it didn't take him long to find an answer.
"I jumped at the chance," Hubbard said.
Hubbard has a long background in theater. He owned his own production company out of college, creating videos for trade shows. He's also been a producer and a director of community theater productions. As a new teacher at RHS he was happy to find a way to get involved. He said he's enjoyed getting to know students he's never met and helping them grow as actors.
With one week to go before the first performance of the theater season at RHS things seem to be going well.
"I feel so honored to be walking in here," Hubbard said. "The students have brought their A game from day one. They've met my expectations."
Hubbard is jumping into the Irish theater world with Fools, a Neil Simon play about a remote Ukrainian village cursed with ignorance. The story focuses on Leon Tolchinski, who arrives in the village to work as a school teacher. He falls in love with one of the villagers but discovers he too will be cursed if he stays in the village for more than 24 hours.
The show is light-hearted but Hubbard likes the messages about the importance of education at a time when many feel legislation like the national No Child Left Behind act makes it difficult for teachers to do their job.
There's nothing overtly political about the play, though. At heart the show is a broad, slapstick comedy.
"It's an hilarious play. It just gives actors a chance to go at it." said David Yates, who plays Dr. Zubritsky, the father of Tolchinski's beloved. "A lot of it you have to improv or come up with something. It's not just directed in there, so you can interpret it whatever way you want."
"It's definitely a comedy," Hubbard said. "While there is a message in it it's a very subtle message about taking stock in knowledge and education."
For ticket information, visit district196.org/ rhs/theaterarts/index.cfm