Pahrump Valley High School’s new drama teacher comes in the form of a well-accomplished, experienced art director by the name of Audra Duvall.
Duvall, a mother of two PVHS students, has been involved in episode in one way or another since 2000. She’s won multiple awards and comes with a plethora of background knowledge.
Principal Desiree Veloz said she knew Duval was right for the job.
“[She] had put on the production at Rosemary Clarke Middle School (last year) and there was a lot of positive energy around it, ” Veloz said.
Duvall has been a drama teacher — both directly and indirectly as a coach or even club — since 2000. Every year the girl has found a way to direct a play or promote the arts with workshops.
She has directed several showcases, “The Little Mermaid, ” “Grease, ” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, ” “Alice in Wonderland, ” “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, ” “Omelet along with Super Summer Theatre” plus most recently “A Christmas Carol” (streaming film) and RCMS’ “The Phantom Tollbooth, ” shown at PVHS’ theatre in March.
“Most recently I was a technical director for costumes, props, and set stage sets for “The Lion King, ” “Hairspray, ” “Fame, ” “Mary Poppins” plus “The Wizard of Oz, ” Duvall said.
Being an artistry director is no small task. There are presently three drama courses being offered by PVHS, with a total of 45 kids.
PVHS pulls talent from those classes when producing the play, but students who aren’t within an episode class that audition also get a chance in order to showcase their talent. This brings the program’s involvement up to around 60 kids, according to Duvall.
For Duvall, organization, theme, continuity and repurposing useful tools are usually the biggest aspects of drama the lady wants her students to understand.
Putting on a play is a level above complex. Auditions alone take time — but even after casting is complete, script-learning and set-building can get several months plus several thousands of dollars to put together.
“Grease” was close to $5, 000 to produce, based on Duvall.
“And that was just the license in order to rent out the theater script and the music, ”she said.
More people tend to volunteer whenever it’s school-related, making things a lot easier, according to Duvall.
Coming in and simply putting on plays is not how things are done as a new or even an existing theatre director.
“I am new to the school and with the new theatre arts movie director, systems need to be put in place, ” said Duvall.
Because associated with the many systems that need to be in place, PVHS will be putting on only one mainstage performance this year.
“You have in order to slowly find a method to both build trust and establish protocols within the least harmful manner possible for all parties included, ” stated Duvall.
Casting call for this play should be starting very soon, in accordance to Duvall.
“But the particular show itself won’t hit the mainstage until March 2023. It will become a comedy murder mystery. I am not really allowed to promote it until we pay licensing — but let’s just say it will be a good show and the audience, actors and tech will be pleased, ” said Duvall.
John Duvall, drama club member plus Duvall’s son, describes his mother as both tough and fair.
He believes if individuals want to truly find themselves, joining the crisis club or taking the programs provided (Drama I, II and III) will change one’s life under his mother’s direction.
“Everyone should just end up being themselves, yet if they want to challenge themselves, they should try it, ” said John Duvall.
Duvall’s other child, Riley, assistant director of the Pahrump Valley High School stage production play, mentioned, “When Duvall is directing a show, she will not only tell you the direction, but has the courage to show you what she wants. ”
Patrick Billings is a freelance writer in Pahrump. Contact him at [email protected] com.