Meet new drama teacher Matthew Migliorini
Emily Chen: How do you feel about being the new drama teacher?
Matthew Migliorini: Itâ€™s always exciting to start at a new place, and we have such a fabulous facility here, our 480-seat theater. This performing arts center is amazing, and [I appreciate] the ability to start in a program thatâ€™s already well established, thatâ€™s been doing good theater, and the chance to make a name for myself here on campus and make theater relevant.
Emily Chen: You talked about how this facility is really great and everything, so have you taught at another school before for the drama class?
Matthew Migliorini: Yes.
Emily Chen: So what was that facility in comparison like?
Matthew Migliorini: Well, the facility wasnâ€™t on campus, but it was a performing arts center similar, 400 seats, but the technology wasnâ€™t as updated as this theater’s, and the ability to work onstage daily wasnâ€™t available to me. To have a theater thatâ€™s connected to my classroom allows the students to work out on stage a lot more; I really value and cherish that. Iâ€™m also really enthusiastic about having a tech class; my Stagecraft class is a great way for the students to be hands-on and learn the technical aspects of theater, and I didnâ€™t have that at my previous high school.
Emily Chen: What do you look forward to?
Matthew Migliorini: Directing the shows, meeting the news students, the festivals, acting festivals that we are going to be participating in.
Emily Chen: What do you think about the school and the students? How are they different from your previous school?
Matthew Migliorini: This school is very high-achieving, and the students are very academically driven, but I tend to get students who want to loosen up a little bit. Iâ€™m hoping to grow the program to include more students on campus. Itâ€™s nice to see a campus that cares a lot about going on to four-year colleges that are really excelling, and not just any four-year colleges. It seems like the level of colleges the students want to go to is the top-of-the-line, so itâ€™s really nice. My last high school had some students moving on to high-achieving four-year schools, but this schoolâ€™s ratio is much higher.
Emily Chen: How do you feel about that?
Matthew Migliorini: I like that. There are its ups and downs because some students are so academically driven that they donâ€™t have time in their schedules for performing arts, or they are already involved in band, dance, one of the other performing arts and thereâ€™s not a lot of crossover, but I’m hoping to have a renaissance here in the years to come where students can crossover in between the different subject areas.
Emily Chen: Can you describe the crossovers?
Matthew Migliorini: Iâ€™ll be working in collaboration with Mr. Wicks leading the orchestra for the musical, Ms. Lopez leading vocals, the dance coach choreographing for the musical, and myself directing. All four of us are going to be working in conjunction to basically create something thatâ€™s across all the fields of the performing arts department. Because in the past I know that some of the choir students werenâ€™t allowed to participate in the musical because of their scheduling and some of the dance students were so involved in competitions that they couldnâ€™t be involved in the musical; itâ€™s a limiting process. This time we are kind of eliminating that to allow for more students to audition, for more students to be involved and [include] some students that arenâ€™t in the performing arts department because Iâ€™m opening my auditions to the whole school for the spring musical.
Emily Chen: How do you think this will affect the students and the musical?
Matthew Migliorini: Hopefully it opens up the door for more students to get involved in drama, more students to audition in the future, and just more students to be aware of the fantastic performing arts program that we have on campus.
Emily Chen: How do you think this year would be?
Matthew Migliorini: I think this year is going to be a growing experience, I think this year is going to be fantastic. I think this year is going to be groundbreaking. That would be the one adjective I would say. I think what we do in the musical this year is going to lay the foundation for years to come. Iâ€™m not going to reinvent the wheel, by any stretch of the imagination. Ms. Karr had great programs. Ms. Karr had great musicals, but this year, the collaboration of our department, the performing arts department, is going to be unlike anything the schoolâ€™s seen in at least ten years.
By Emily Chen, Arts editor