Student news site of New Ulm High School

Theatre is back at New Ulm High School!

New high school director takes control of the stage

“I’d like to have a close group of kids that would be able to respect each other and help each other out no matter what. Sort of like a small theatre family. If we could make that happen and create some fun memories, I’d be more than happy.”, English teacher Carissa Cowles said. A new director has taken control of the stage at New Ulm High School. Mrs. Cowles is a new teacher at NUHS that will be taking charge of the school’s theatre programs.

Cowles first got into theatre in her freshman year of college when she decided to join a student-written one-act play. Prior to that, she had never done a real play before outside of church productions and ended up landing a small role with only two lines. After that performance, she continued to involve herself in other various plays throughout college, and when she first started teaching in Iowa, she helped out as an assistant director of the musical there. Jump ahead to now, where she’s planning on being the full-on director here at NUHS. Quite the transition in just a few years.

The cast and crew members for the fall musical are in the middle of preparing for their upcoming performance. When asked how things were going, Cowles said, “At first it didn’t seem like things were going to work out, but thankfully it’s going super well now.” The musical will have its first performance in just under a month, so things are wrapping up. But there’s supposedly still a lot of work to get done, along with other productions to look forward to later this year.

The last few years have been wildly unpredictable for the theatre department at New Ulm High School. COVID-19 hit us all suddenly in 2020, leaving the spring play that year without a live performance. Shortly after, Mrs. Thursby, director of the theatre programs at the high school, moved away. Mr. Skar briefly took over the department for a year, but the musical was the only production that managed to go on. Skar also moved away at the end of last year. On top of that, Sheldon Rieke, long-time director of the high school’s one-act play, recently announced he would be retiring, leaving the theatre department completely director-less. But now that COVID-19 is finally starting to settle down and there’s a fresh new director, things are looking bright for the future of the theatre program.

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