Director prepares to leave performing arts department


Photo by Christin Gauss.

The cast of “Bring It On: The Musical” cheers along with the crowd as they take their final bows on the closing night on Nov. 17.

Lights dim and music fades as the strike of a show begins, the purpose of which is to get the stage back to its bare bones. However when one production leaves the PA department, life goes on.

As the department shuffles in its fourth quarter events like the Winter Spectacular concert, the musical is not the only thing it bids farewell. During the show’s strike, students learned that director and teacher Jon Colby would not be returning to FHS after the 2019 spring semester.

“[Colby] was such an amazing director and was always ready to tell you any story about theatre,” Sophomore Ava Benvenutti said. “I was always thinking that I should take a theatre class to learn more from him.”

Benvenutti, a choir student, will have the opportunity to work with whoever takes Colby’s position. His absence will be attributed to the extensive hours he spends at FHS and his coming baby, which is due in early Dec.

“I love this job but I want to be able to spend more time with my baby,” Colby said. “The week of ‘Bring It On’ I was at school over 80 hours, which is basically two full-time jobs.”

Colby currently teaches theatre III, IV, advanced acting and improv and the mass media courses at FHS. Next year, he will be pursuing keynote speaking and corporate training.

“I’ll go and talk about the benefits of improv in both the corporate world and in your everyday life,” Colby said. “A lot of people think they’re good communicators but they can be bad listeners or not pay attention to body language.”

With Colby leaving, the department will now need to find someone capable of teaching both theatre and mass media. While graduating seniors will not meet Colby’s replacement, underclassmen will work with the new director.

“I will miss him so much,” Benvenutti said. “The musical will definitely not be the same next year.”