“Teaching Life” Virtually



Hannah Nelson, Staff Reporter

“Teaching theatre is teaching life.” This is a common phrase of Mrs. Rupe, the theatre teacher here at CHHS. As it turns out, it can be difficult to teach both theatre and life using only virtual methods. 

The Production and Performance class at Chino Hills normally involves a lot of face-to-face connections among students. It is common for students to walk into class and start talking about their day, and for this conversation to last a while, or for Mrs. Rupe to spend class time to give her student’s life or professional advice. A lot of acting comes from observing and connecting with people, and class is where that happens for these students.

An even larger part of P and P class time is devoted to working on the theatre department’s productions, which is both a class requirement and a passion for the students in the class. With the spring production of High School Musical canceled, it’s hard to imagine the kinds of assignments the class should have in the future.

Teaching theatre is teaching life”

— Mrs. Rupe

Nothing is a perfect replacement for in-person classes, but Mrs. Rupe found a way to still teach performing and life to her students. She arranged Zoom calls between her P and P class and industry professionals: Frank Nicotero, writer and comedian, Alli Mauzey, Broadway actress, Robert Ray Schafer, long-time TV and film actor, and Adam Rank, journalist, and sports commentator as well as a comedian. 

The Zoom calls followed a question and answer format, and students were encouraged to ask any questions they had about anything from how to pursue a similar career to what the experience was like in general. The students walked away with advice on how to get started now, like writing material for themselves and just putting themselves out there and really working towards a goal. Not all students in the class are planning on going into the entertainment industry, but they all thought they received at least some useful advice they could apply to any career. These Zoom calls were an effective way to help prepare students for the world and maybe teach a little about life after all.