By Sara Wood
Rebecca Williams is more than just a teacher; she is an example of how to express yourself. She helps people learn to express themselves through theater. She is a role model for her students and other teachers because she shows that theater isn’t just dramatics, it is a way to express emotions. Theatre is built with all types of people and Williams helps guide them.
What is your teaching history?
I am in my 23rd year of teaching. I taught 10 years at Hillcrest Junior High and the last 13 have been at Cyprus.
What has made you want to teach theatre? Why?
I had many great examples while growing up. But I didn’t realize I wanted to teach until college. I get to do what I love.
How has Covid affected the way you teach?
Well teaching theatre is best in person. I have had to be creative with the distance learning part of theatre. It also is hard to assess the students while wearing masks. Theatre is about facial expressions too.
What do you look for in a participant? Why?
I look for students who can take direction and implement their own creativity. It is important because we can accomplish so much more if the students are willing to be coached and contribute by using their own instincts.
What goal do you have for your group this year?
To make it through a show without shutting down.
What life lessons do you want your actors to learn from theater?
Hard work and diligence will help them to be successful.
How has teaching impacted you?
It has brought many wonderful people into my life, who have changed me “for good.”
What do you feel is the most important aspect of theater?
It is a discipline that will help anyone in all aspects of life. It isn’t just for stage work or to be famous. It helps out with the day to day living.
What is your proudest moment as a leader?
Being able to sit back and watch my students be self-sufficient. I couldn’t be at these last performances for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers due to COVID-19, and the show went on. My job is to prepare my students for independence and they keep proving themselves.
How do you push your students to improve?
I hold myself to the same standards I expect them to achieve. I try to lead by example (hopefully it is a good one). I don’t sugar coat what they need to fix, but I praise when they are great at something. I care that they do well and hope they know I am helping them to grow in their craft and in their humanity.