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An Interview With Ms. Mapes

Cynthia Cumming

Justin Peters, Student Journalist

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Which classes do you teach?

Theater Arts, Acting Principles and Theatre Advanced.

 

How did you get into teaching these subjects?

These subjects were already a part of the curriculum.  

 

Which class do you enjoy teaching the most?

I love all of my classes. There are different projects in different classes that I enjoy.  For example with Theatre Arts, I enjoyed the unit on playwriting that we did. Students wrote ten minute one act plays and submitted them to Luna Stage for a One Act festival competition.

In Acting Principles, we collaborated with the Level 2 dance class and created a Theatre-Dance promo that we presented to the 8th graders at LIberty and Roosevelt.  This was an exciting experience, both to collaborate with Ms. Sande and to take a show on the road.

In Theatre Advanced, students prepared scenes and competed at the NJ Thespian Festival.  Several students won awards and placed in Nationals. This was really neat.

In the spring, both Acting Principles and Theatre Advanced participate in the Ten Day Film Challenge, in which students have 10 days to create a 4 minute film.  It is one of my favorite projects because it forces the students to think for themselves creatively and strategically. If we place at least one film in the top 30 from the state of NJ, I am happy.

 

How long have you been teaching for?

A long time.

 

What has been the greatest moment of your teaching career so far?

At my former school, SCVTS Theatre Academy, we created a 20 minute version of Hamlet that won an award at the Shakesperience festival at Rider University.  I had some Guest Artists from Philadelphia help me with the piece, and it was pretty cool.

Here at WOHS, the greatest moments have been working on the fall plays – A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Our Town and the spring musicals – Aida and In the Heights.  I have to say In the Heights has been a very demanding show, but extremely rewarding. The students are doing [did] an amazing job.

 

What do you do other than teach?  

Sleep.

 

​Is there a message you would like to tell the readers?  

Listen to your true self.  Follow that voice. Be confident and self-directed, rather than a reed in the wind.

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