KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
October 24, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD Fine Arts Department brings music, drama, and laughter into the community. Katy residents don’t have to go to Houston to find theatrical talent. From incredible set designs to top acting talent Katy students entertain the Katy community.
Photo credit: Katy High School Theater Department
Katy Theater Departments Top in State
Katy ISD Theater Departments are routinely some of the best in the state. The Katy community is often treated to near-professional quality performances thanks to the talent from the Katy ISD high schools. Residents and visitors don’t have to spend Hobby Center prices to be entertained by great shows.
Katy families can escape real life and be transported to fantasy lands and historical time periods. Each high school’s theater department is unique and talented.
“Katy Theatre utilizes our student designers and directors more than any other high school program I have ever seen,” says Katy Tagliabue, Katy High School Theater Director. “When you see our performances, you can be confident that our actors and technicians built our production from the ground up.”
Show Tickets Sold Online
All 9 Katy ISD high schools plan full scale productions, sometimes multiple times a year that are open to the public to enjoy. This year tickets are being sold online through Katy ISD. Tickets can be purchased here.
The students put so much into these productions from set design, choreography and more. It’s more than a simple performance.
“From the fantastic set pieces to the crowd-pleasing choreography, everything has been handcrafted by our young theatrical artists,” says Tagliabue.
Playing this Weekend
Morton Ranch High School Theater will be performing The Diary of Anne Frank this weekend. Tickets can be purchased online.
“This production is unique because this is the first black box production where the audience will be seated all around the stage,” says Morton Ranch High School Theater Director James “Joey” Watkins. “We call this ‘theatre in the round.’”
Photo credit: Seven Lakes High School Theater
Stories About Family
Tompkins High School just wrapped their production of James and the Giant Peach and will perform The Lost Boy this January.
“We selected these productions for the stories of family, community and classic coming-of-age tales,” says Kelsie Morris, Technical Director at Tompkins High School. “We found these productions lent themselves to interesting technical challenges such as puppetry, projections and costuming.”
The Newest But Already Seasoned
Jordan High School Theater Department is in their third year of bringing productions to the community.
“Our productions are all family-friendly to a certain extent,” says Andrew Midkiff, the Theater Director at Jordan High School. “I don't pick shows that I wouldn't take my own kids to. Our plays entertain but also encourage our audience to contemplate what the world is and how we can all exist harmoniously.”
They have already performed Puffs by Matt Cox and In December will be doing A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.
“We will end our year with Theatre X, a showcase of student-written short plays, directed, designed, and performed by students,” says Midkiff. “Each of these plays was chosen because they present challenges to our actors and technicians that will help them practice skills and grow as artists.”
It’s a Busy Season for the Mustangs
Taylor High School Thespians have a busy season planned that includes performances of The Crucible, Puffs, Clue, and Aida.
They just wrapped The Crucible but Puffs, the story of seven increasingly eventful years at a certain school of magic and magic is fun for all ages, is set for November 4 and 5.
Clue will run in December and Aida is set for January. The Taylor Playmakers has their own website for information and ticket sales.
“By the end of the year, Taylor will produce, three full-length plays, one musical, one one act, one children’s show, and a senior showcase, not to mention class plays,” says Sara Blumber, Taylor High School Theater Director.
Seven Lakes to Perform a Family-Favorite Musical
Seven Lakes High School has big musical plans for February with their production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway version of Cinderella.
Photo credit: Seven Lakes High School Theater Department
“Katy families can expect magic, fun and excitement,” says Joshua Ryan Heerssen, Technical Theater Director. “A great musical for everyone!”
Student Inspired Shows
Cinco Ranch High School’s show lineup this season is student inspired.
“This season's look is heavily influenced by student designers,” says Lindsey Pritchett, Technical Theater Director. “Over the summer of 2022, students read, researched, and conceptualized how they wanted the different productions to look when brought to the stage through our Above the Lines program. Their attention to detail in scenic, lighting, costume, sound design as well as assistant directing has really brought out the best in each show.”
Cinco Ranch High School’s shows include The Play That Goes Wrong, A Christmas Carol, Almost, Maine, and Alice in Wonderland.
Theater After COVID
Maybe Creek High School Theater is excited for a “normal” year. Last year they were getting back into the swing of things after COVID so that impacted their decisions.
“Last year was about connecting and reconnecting while this year is about growing,” says Paul Shaffer, Theater Director. “With that in mind, these shows are challenging to our students, entertaining to our audiences, and inspire students to want to be part of the next show.”
They just wrapped one play and in January will perform the musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Later in the year they also have a Children’s Show planned.
Support Talented Students Grow
Katy ISD Theater Departments are full of talent that the Katy community can enjoy while supporting students as they learn and grow their craft.
“We strive to produce theatre that is relevant, entertaining and something the community will enjoy,” says Morris.
An Amazing Collaboration Between Students and Directors
“We have a lot of new students who are very eager to learn, which is exciting,” says Saray Rebeca Rodriguez Hernandez, Paetow Theater Company Thespian Historian and Head of Publicity. “We also have many returning company members who are taking on mentoring positions by guiding the students through the production-making process. The collaboration between students and directors, between cast and crew, has been amazing."
Theater is something to be celebrated and the District encourages students to support each other.
“We celebrate all theatre that is being done in our incredible district. We encourage our students to see all of the other school’s shows because it makes them better theatre artists and lovers of theatre,” says Heerssen. “As artists, we must support one another.”
Learn more about Katy ISD’s Fine Arts Programs online. We just discussed Theatre in this story but the District also has talented choir, orchestra, band, and visual arts.