Insulted by allegations that his career as a high school drama teacher is anything but a dream, Paul Clark, 49, would like everyone to know that his profession is, in no way, a plan B. Clark, who teaches six sections of Spanish II in addition to his two sections of Drama 101 and heading the school’s Drama Club, doesn’t understand why anyone would think otherwise. “To those people, I’d ask: where would theatre be without drama teachers?” Clark wonders from behind his morning scotch at his work desk, located in prop storage and occasionally borrowed for productions. “Did you see the new lights in the grid? I paid for them out of pocket.”
A graduate of NYU’s Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Clark says that his seven-year stint in New York catering and auditioning was exactly what he needed to prepare him for forcing Mamet on unsuspecting teenagers. “It’s a shame that people assume that I’d rather have a career doing literally anything else,” he told reporters. “I’m proud of what I built.” Before Clark joined the staff at Forest Hills High, he says there was only one production a year. “A musical,” Clark scoffs. “Because the world needs more Bye Bye Birdie.”
The school now puts on three, occasionally four, productions a year. “Only one musical. And this year we are doing an adaptation of A Little Night Music,” he boasts. Clark also happened to pen the adaptation. “Without me what would happen to these kids? They certainly wouldn’t know how to say their lines properly.”
“I mean, does this look like Plan B?” Clark asked while unloading props from his Toyota Prius and preparing for a long night of building the set for the school’s upcoming production of Clybourne Park, which he assures will be a smash hit. “Sure we took some liberties casting, but after some coaxing we managed to get Jerome to audition.”
Tickets can be purchased for $10 on the school’s website. All proceed will go to Mr. Clark for footing the rights.
Though this story is entirely fake news and all material within is a fabrication of the writer’s imagination, Town Stages is a real-life event space in Tribeca with a mission to support under-valued and under-represented voices in the arts. Click here to learn more about the space or to book a tour.