Audrey Moore, editor

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Ottawa High School gained a new drama teacher this year. She’s acquired the task of building up the OHS drama program from the ground, and meeting and assessing the new faces and personalities of potential actors.

“My daughter’s scholarship to the Kansas City Art Institute brought us to Kansas, and Mr. Morford’s job offer brought me to Ottawa,” Amy Miller [drama teacher] said.

Miller was inspired to teach theatre from a teaching experience she was unexpectedly thrown into.

“In Toccoa, Georgia, and heavily involved in community theatre, the principal of the alternative high school in the district asked if I could write a curriculum for a theatre appreciation course and come teach several days a week so her students could fulfill the fine arts requirement for their diploma. ‘Easy,’ I said, and all it took was a few minutes in that classroom to know teaching is what I wanted, needed to do when I grew up,” Miller said.

Unlike previous years, students in Miller’s drama classes will do several different performances year round. The spring play will still be open to all students, and the multiple performances will give drama students more opportunities to practice what they’re taught.

“You can’t learn the essence of theatre out of a textbook, sitting at a desk, listening to me prattle on, waxing philosophical about the magic of live theatre,” Miller said. “It must be experienced firsthand and from the inside. Theatre is hands on, dirty and messy and brilliant, working and doing and building and growing, discovering who and what and how, for many, a most difficult and joyous experience. It’s crazy, it’s frustrating, it’s scary, exhausting and exhilarating, wondrous and exciting. In other words, theatre is life. Theatre is a performing art, therefore it must be shared.”

Tiernyn Sirico [12] is very active within the theatre program.

My junior year, was the first year we even had a foundation for the theatre program. This year we are fortunate enough to have somebody as great as Ms. Miller to guide us,” Sirico said. “It seems like this year there are more and more opportunities to participate. I’m mostly excited for her advanced acting class and getting the chance to perform in more than one play this year. What’s really exciting is the amount of theatre classes you can take. For instance, I’m in her stage makeup class, and everyday we are working on performance makeup. There’s a lot going on this year in the theatre department, and when we get the new Performing Arts Center, we’ll be able to expand even more.”

Miller intends to expand and develop the theatre program in more ways than one. She wants to make the students in her class a cohesive, identifiable group. The name of the theatre troupe, chosen through a process of voting, is The Fellowship of the Stage.


“Theatre is not an after-hours activity, a lark to dabble in once a year through the musical, but an essential part of the school’s curriculum. Drama is a literary device, theatre is an art form,” Miller said.

Miller hopes that her classes will inspire her students to take in all aspects of the world of theatre, learn, discover and be risk-takers.