“I always knew I wanted to be an English teacher. My grandmother taught for 37 years, so I spent a lot of time with her in the classroom. I also had a background in dance, so I decided to pursue a degree in Language Arts at the University of Alabama. Language Arts covers dance, theater, and drama, so taking those classes really brought out my passion for theater.
This is my third year teaching English at Jasper High School, and being the drama teacher for our drama club, Center Stage. I took some time off from teaching to be with my kids when they were younger, so when this position became available at what was Walker High School, I was really excited.
Center Stage is made up of such a variety. We have kids on the swim team, the tennis team, the football team, the cheerleading squad, and we also have kids that don’t really belong to a certain club or sport. This becomes like their home – their family. They accomplish things that they never thought they could accomplish.
Right now, we’re working on The Play That Goes Wrong, which is a comedy. We haven’t done a comedy in several years, so we’re pretty excited about it. We decided not to go the Christmas route, and instead do it in the fall, in November, so I think it’s going to be different, and be a lot of fun for them. We’ll do a musical in the spring, and the students will vote on what that will be.
My goal for this group is to guide them and equip them to be confident when they try new things – because theater is all about getting out of your comfort zone. I hope that they are better communicators, that they can think more creatively – those are skills that the drama classroom provides. Throughout life, they will need to know that it’s ok to just be themselves. My hope is that they all possess the confidence to be their own person, and to know that that is always enough.”
-Nicole Abner, Jasper High School
Photo + Interview by Blakeney Co