One day Jennifer emailed me. She then said told me, hey, I just emailed you. Yes, she emailed me while in the same room. But what she emailed was a link to the book Drama Mama: Lessons Learned in the Imaginary Elsewhere by award-winning theater teacher Kristie Farr. The first lines of the description asked: Are you losing your passion for teaching? Have you forgotten why you even became a teacher?
I saw that this book was a piece of reflection, a glimpse at Kristie’s story and journey through 30 years of teaching. I am always down for a good story. When I received my copy of Drama Mama, I couldn’t put it down. So much of what Kristie was writing about resonated with me as a person, a father, and an educator. I am so grateful that she has agreed to join me on today’s episode so we can talk more about her journey and lessons she has learned. I definitely learned from it. I hope you will, too.
Kristie L. Fuller has been a Theatre teacher at Indian River High School since 1998. Since starting there, she has developed a sequenced program in Theatre, directs 2-3 productions per year and coordinates the Thespian Troupe and Honor Society. Some of her favorite directing credits include: Mamma Mia, Who Will Carry the Word, As You Like It, Hairspray, The Yellow Boat, Bocón, Once on this Island, Seussical, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Miracle Worker, And a Child Shall Lead, Doors, You Can’t Take it with You, The Women of Lockerbie, Almost Maine, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Laramie Project and The Diary of Anne Frank. Several of her productions have received Awards of Excellence in Directing from the Theatre Association of New York State and Awards of Excellence for Outstanding Production at the Michael J. Harms Theatre Festival. She has enjoyed teaming with Third Eye Theatre to provide a variety of ASL interpreted productions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in her community.
Kristie has been an adjunct instructor in the Theatre and Dance Department at SUNY Potsdam for the last 11 years specializing in Theatre Education Methods courses as well as Play Analysis and Theatre History courses. In addition, she has taught for NYSUT/Cazenovia College focusing on CTE courses in Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Classroom Management. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at SUNY Potsdam and holds the following teaching certifications: Theatre Certification (K-12) Professional Performing Arts – Drama (9-12) Permanent, Speech/Drama Certification (K-12) Permanent.
For over 20 years, Kristie has been the New York State Theatre Education Association (NYSTEA) Curriculum Chair working with Theatre standards revision, curriculum development, assessment and certification. She is currently the Chair of the Arts Content Advisory Panel and the Theatre Chair for the IAAP Committee at the NYS Education Department. She has been part of EdTA’s Lesson Plan Project (2020) Model Curriculum Project (2018, 2019) and Theatre Teacher Evaluation Workbook committee. Her Theatre program was recognized as the Educational Theatre Association’s Outstanding School in 2007. In 2012 she was awarded the National Reba R. Robertson Award for Outstanding Theatre Teacher and won the 2017 NYSTEA Rod Marriott Lifetime Achievement Award. She was thrilled to have been a part of the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2013 and looks forward to returning again in 2021.