A Message from Another Theater Teacher

We received this beautiful email from a North Carolina theater teacher today, via this website.  It is meant to be shared with all who are part of our program.

I am a high school theater teacher in North Carolina. Although I did not know Dan personally, I’m very close to several Ground Up members and if they loved and worked with him, and I have a pretty good guess at the kind of person he was. And I too, like Dan, think that doing theater with high school students is a “dream job.” And because I have done that dream job for over twenty years, I also know how much a teacher who becomes a mentor can mean to certain students. Students who gravitate towards technical theater can sometimes be the kinds of kids who don’t particularly like all the adults they encounter in a high school setting. Regardless of your age or penchant for adults, when you find someone who gets the way you see the world, that person can become very special, even in the span of eight months.

I am writing to express my condolences to all of you, but most specifically, to share something with those students who thought the world of Dan. Something that maybe only I can reinforce for them. If you loved him and thought the world of him as a teacher, I guarantee he loved you back–even if you aren’t sure of it or the last time you spoke, he was chewing you out for being late for call. Every single student who does theater with me–I feel as bonded to them as they do to me–even if my role as an adult doesn’t allow me to express it with as much emotion and vigor as teenagers are afforded.

I promise you–If you will remember him, he would have remembered you. I don’t know if that reassurance helps any of you, but I thought it might. Again, I’m so sorry for your program and school at this loss.

Hope Hynes Love
East Chapel Hill High School

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