Chapman fills big shoes in theater department


Rehearsing for what seems the millionth time, Gracie Van Brackle (12) and Logann Morrison (12) try hard to keep from bursting out in laughter. The cast rehearses for at least one hour every day to make sure that their play goes on smoothly. “The play is really fun and exciting,” Van Brackle said

This school year marked the beginning of a new era for the theatre department. Hannah Chapman (faculty) has a big challenge ahead of her following the departure of the Davis‘. The Davis‘ left behind some big shoes to fill and Chapman is ready take on this new challenge.

For 29 years, the theatre department was under the direction of Robby and Dotty Davis. The duo created a large and successful theatre program, alongside helping students and broadening their horizons. Their program produced several award winning shows for the One-Act competitions, such as Peter and The Star Catcher and Anatomy of Gray. When their departure was announced, parents and students alike shared concern as to who would replace them. Though there was a lot of concern, many students of the program were ready to accept a new director. These students were asked to interview the candidates and express their concerns as students of the program.

Some leaders of the theatre program, such as Logann Morrison (12), wanted to ask her questions about her plan for the department.

“We asked her questions, like what would a season look like for her, Morrison said. “What made her interested in theatre? A lot of people in theatre are also involved in other clubs or after school activities, so how would she handle it?”

When asked about what impressed the students the most, Gracie Van Brackle (12) said, “I loved her happy and upbeat personality. I felt like she really wanted to get to know us.”

When Chapman first applied to Lee County, she was ready to take over.

“The size of the program initially drew me in,” Chapman said. “I was ready for the challenge and I knew that because of how many kids were actively involved in the program, that they would help me throughout the year.”

Knowing how attached the kids were to the Davis‘, Chapman has taken all measures to ensure that traditions remain the same while including some of her own. When questioned about what kind of changes would happen, she said, “Well to be fair, I haven’t been here very long to make that call. My main goal is to have the current veteran techies to teach those who are under them and can help carry the program. I also want to help the kids with college prep and some intensive training to prepare my seniors for the world they will endure if they choose theatre as a major,” Chapman said.

Even though she was given a tough act to follow, Chapman is excited to continue the success of the theatre program and her students.