Director’s Departure Leads the Theater Department in a New Direction
After the county announced budget cuts that would go into effect for the next school year, students apart of the theater program here at Hillsborough High School began to worry. With the retirement of their director, Jeffrey Pittard, and their already low budget, it seemed inevitable that their program would be on the chopping block. To their surprise – and relief – the program was left spared.
But now they had something new to worry about; who the new director would be. Pittard is the only director that the students here have had. “Honestly, when I first heard about it, I was upset,” said Sophomore Jamie Lohn. However, they’ve been assured by him that the new director will be a good fit. “Now I feel a lot more welcomed to the idea just because Mr. Pittard himself said he likes her, whoever she is,” said Lohn.
Junior Noah Stepp is optimistic about the change. “I think it will be fun to get a fresh new face in because with each director comes a different directing style,” he said. “It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.”
The students also expressed that they hope next year they can do more in terms of fundraising and outreach. “I hope that they can bring in more people since the theater program itself is relatively small,” said Sophomore Laura Gonzalez, who is also the President of the Thespian club at Hillsborough. She also said that they “want to try and do more stuff, like a car wash or sell merchandise to bring in more money.” Typically, their only fundraising events are the two shows they perform and their annual Coffee House at the beginning of the year. The lack of funds has made it difficult for them to be able to put on their performances and showcase all that they have to offer.
The program means a lot to those involved. Lohn said that “it’s my biggest motivator. It’s almost like a carrot being strung over my head.” For others, theater has allowed them to form close bonds with others. “I formed a family in theater,” said Sophomore Jay Markowitz. “I would probably say that I would never perform for any troupe other than Hillsborough just because of how important it’s become to me.” Stepp echoed the same, saying that “I like that feeling of feeling as though through acting we’re all connecting.”