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FRIDAY FACULTY FEATURE: Backstage with Baker

A look into the world of theater teacher Cindy Baker.
Cindy+Baker+gives+feedback+on+the+understudy+rehearsal+of+Murder+on+the+Orient+Express+Nov.+16.+Murder+on+the+Orient+Express+showed+Nov.+15%2C+16+and+17.+Tickets+were+sold+at+%245+for+students+and+%247+for+adults.+
media by Baylie Van Horn Turnidge
Cindy Baker gives feedback on the understudy rehearsal of “Murder on the Orient Express” Nov. 16. “Murder on the Orient Express” showed Nov. 15, 16 and 17. Tickets were sold at $5 for students and $7 for adults.

Improv Club, theater classes, plays, a spring musical, One Acts, theater production ensemble and tech theater.

All of this is run and produced by one woman: Cindy Baker 

Baker, a theater teacher and fanatic, has taught high school theater for 39 years. She teaches all drama classes and directs both the plays and spring musical. Baker always knew she wanted to be a teacher, and once she saw what theater did for kids, that’s how she knew what she needed to be. 

Baker’s favorite show that she has ever directed is “The Women of Lockerbie.” 

“It was such a moving and tragic event and the story that was written was in a unique style and we ended up taking it to Nationals.”

Theater requires students to commit to their roles and put themselves out there to present a product, which can be a valuable skill in learning. 

“Theater teaches kids to just passively try and actually absorb the information. They have to make creative decisions and stick with them. Students really put themselves into the product, which is a really valuable thing to learn,” Baker said.

Baker also has kids work the sound and lights, make all of the sets and create props. 

Baker looked back to the school’s 2019 performance of “Newsies” as her craziest teaching experience.

“[We] ended up having the ambulance come for three nights in a row for three different types of emergencies involving students,” Baker said. “The worst injury was a student stepping off a small platform. [She] rolled her ankle to the point that she broke several bones.”

Alina Sabalevskya ‘27 is a student in Baker’s Theater I class and was an understudy for Countess in this year’s play “Murder on the Orient Express.”

“I enjoy Mrs. Baker’s class because you have a lot of different opportunities and meet a lot of different people. I also enjoy the scenes that we do with learning new things,” Sabalevskya said. 

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