This year at Arkansas High, a new face can be found in Room 506. She’s bright, bubbly, and passes down all her wisdom and knowledge to her students – this face is Ms. Al-Dubais, more commonly known as Ms. A. Ms. A studied theater in college at Saint Mary’s College in Louisiana and at Texarkana College. Her interest and participation in theater began at a much younger stage in her life, though. When she was eight years old, she premiered in her first play as a little girl in TexRep’s production of A Christmas Carol. From then on, her life has always had theater in it.
Ms. A has some big plans for the drama department this year. One of the issues AHS has as of lately is that the International Thespian Society(ITS) only has two members. Ms. A is planning on changing that, though. “We’re really working on building our ITS program,” she says. She knows though that the membership of the ITS is a hard one to acquire, so she is as well focusing on getting more dedicated theater students in her class and/or club.
I was interested in finding out more about the classroom environment with Ms. A, so I spoke with a couple of her students to ask what their experience in the classroom was. “When we’re learning new topics,” says senior Samantha Ward, “she always ties it back to little games that will help us remember how a certain thing works.” Sophomore Evin Burton says, “we can build on getting comfortable with those around us.” Ms. A’s theater classroom, I learned, is always striving to be a safe, comfortable place for everyone, with high and fun energy.
Along with making sure the drama classroom is a safe and energetic environment, Ms. A is also focused on providing students interested in pursuing theater in college and as a career with the information they need to succeed. She makes sure to show all of what theater is, from voice acting to even the background of theater, rather than them just being on stage.
Ms. A is making sure the theater classroom is a place for all, where everyone can enjoy, and her students agree with me. I recently joined the drama club a couple of weeks ago, and my shy and introverted personality was welcomed with friendliness and a gentle push to come out of my shell. Even if you’ve never thought of yourself as theatrical person, you are sure to find yourself a place in room 506.