School is hard. Theatre is harder.
When the newly consolidated Watauga High School opened in the mid-1960s, English Teacher William Ross volunteered his time to serve as a theatre director, leading WHS students in productions until his retirement. In 1987, Mrs. Trimella Chaney was hired as a formal theatre educator. Soon, her class sizes were overflowing and Mr. Greg Pope was hired. This "dynamic duo" worked together to build the WHS Theatre department into a creative, theatrical powerhouse, known throughout the state for both it's high quality of work and it's inclusive atmosphere. Upon Mrs. Chaney's retirement, Sarah Miller joined Mr. Pope to continue the department's work. A WHS Graduate and a member of the inaugural Pioneer Playmakers troupe, Ms. Miller and Mr. Pope helped the department transition from the "old" WHS to the brand new WHS school and theatre in 2010. Overnight, they went from analog to digital! Collaborating with long-time choreographer and Playmaker alum Shauna Godwin, WHS ushered in a new era of spring musicals with casts numbering 100+ and audiences that filled our 660 seat house. When Mr. Pope retired in 2013, Ms. Godwin stepped in and finished out the school year until our 5th theatre teacher, Mr. Zach Walker, joined the team. Since 2013, Ms. Miller and Mr. Walker have pushed their "dynamic duo" responsibilities even further, hosting regional weekends of the NCTC Play Festival, training tech theatre students to run productions in their state of the art theatre, focusing on developing 21st century skills, and emphasizing the "with and for" spirit of comradery and collaboration that theatre is all about.
36 years and counting. 4 State Championships. 5 theatre educators. Thousand of students and community volunteers.
1 mission - "with and for"