Theatre teacher transformations


Brianne Kankel, Staff Writer

Sitting around the stage in the glow of the fluorescent lights, students are already preparing for the fall school play. A new year, a new school, a new play and on top of that, a new teacher to join the theatre program.

theatre1Lance Morse is starting his first year teaching theatre at Plano.

“I love the atmosphere,” Morse said. “I love the fact it has a college feel. I like that it is laid back at first glance, but incredibly intense and focused once you acclimate.”

Having a new director is a situation that is no stranger to the Vines alumni, who have changed directors for four years in a row now.

The new director, Lance Morse, is very well liked according to his students junior Jake Durkin and seniors Charles Kinder and Rachel Van Duyne.

“He is awesome,” Durkin said. “He is really nice. I can tell his acting style is different. It’s real different. It’s not generic.”

Every teacher has his or her own teaching style, and Morse’s style focuses on work ethic.

“I prefer a really intense work ethic and focus, but I prefer for that to happen in a more laid back and casual way,” Morse said.

His students had a lot to say about his teaching style.

“His teaching style is very much of making sure everyone is focused, but not focused in a very stagnant way,” Kinder said. “He keeps the class interesting and fun, and he makes sure that the flow of the class is strict. It’s fantastic, best of both worlds sort of thing.”

Kinder said he found many benefits out of the repetitive switching of teachers.

“It makes you well rounded in terms of working with several different people,” Kinder said. “Because there is a feeder school into Plano Senior High School and you were going to switch schools anyway, so adding two more to the bunch if anything was more beneficial in the long run.”

Van Duyne said having a teacher-student relationship is an important part to the learning environment, and that it can be hard to feel close to a teacher right away..

“It is definitely different had Gregory Arp still been here. He knows all of us so well so he knows ‘Oh her work this is good’ or ‘Oh she’s really good at this.’ Mr. Morse just has to go off of our resumes.”

The play, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, will be done differently than in the past. There is going to be no set when the play is performed. All of the set and the builds are going to be made by the actors with their bodies.

“I wanted to find a play script that would allow a large group to do a lot of ensemble work, meaning they would be dependent on each other to tell the story,” Morse said.

Considering the circumstances, his students said they are pleased.

“I think considering that Mr. Morse doesn’t know all of us that well,” Van Duyne said. “Based on all of his casting, he’s done a pretty good job.”