For all of Godwin’s actors and actresses, the stage spotlight falls upon Todd Coolidge, the new Godwin High School Theatre Director. The past couple of years has proved difficult for the drama department due to classes being cut and morale diminishing, but Coolidge plans to bring it back.
Before becoming a drama teacher, Coolidge began his career as an actor in Hawaii. There he performed in Shakespearean Festivals and even landed a guest starring role in the TV show Lost. His acting career earned him two Best Actor awards for his performances in Othello and Sleuth.
Now Coolidge spends his time as the drama teacher at Short Pump Middle school, splitting his day to help with school play rehearsals at Godwin as our theatre director.
As Godwin’s new theatre director, his role includes directing the fall play Fools, assisting students with their one-act performances in a winter festival, and collaborating with Jon Clatterbuck on the spring musical.
Beyond these things, Coolidge is also planning on expanding the drama department into regular school life for students.
“I would like to see drama courses eventually being taught at each year, freshman through senior, at Godwin,” said Coolidge.
Over the years, the drama department has declined and classes have been neglected. Now that Coolidge has stepped up to be theatre director and head of the drama department, he and Godwin principle Leigh Dunavant plan to bring the department back to its former glory.
Dunavant said that she had been looking for someone who could teach the drama class and direct the plays, and she found Coolidge to be the perfect fit.
An increased interest in the drama department would lead to a higher accommodation of students in the program.
Even though these changes may take some time, the goal is to continue and expand the department one year at a time.
“Putting up a couple of theatre productions each year is terrific, but I believe classroom instruction is needed if a high school’s theatre program is truly going to flourish,” said Coolidge.
Coolidge hopes building up the drama department will lead to a culture where students will appreciate theatre production. He has already impacted some students currently involved in theatre.
“This program has been my life for my four years of high school, and it has truly made an impact on who I am and my acting career. Mr. Todd Coolidge is phenomenal and has truly made me become a better actor and performer,” said senior Michael Whitty.