Christie, Kell

Houston High School Theatre Arts

Curiosity. Humility. Courage. 
These three words guide the learning that we do in theatre arts. Each theatre course begins with the assertion that innovative thinking is essential for any profession and for all people. This kind of thinking can only be achieved through curiosity. Humility is necessary for each of us to understand that we are never finished learning, and that everyone we encounter may have something to teach us. Courage of heart allows us to be curious even though we might sometimes be embarrassed or feel awkward. The goals for the classes center around creative thinking, problem-solving, active listening, and analytical skills—all necessary for innovative work. Additionally, these courses connect to and complement other core areas of learning. This is most obvious with history, social studies, English, and the other fine arts, but connections also exist to mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology.

Courses Taught

Introduction to Theatre Arts
This class gives an overview of the collaborative art of theatre, focusing on acting, directing and producing, and technical theatre, with a little bit of history thrown in for good measure. There is a bit of lecture, but a lot of doing. We will help you think innovatively, and become more comfortable working in groups and talking in front of people.
Beginning Acting
This class is the first acting class that students take. Emphasis is placed on preparing for a role and analyzing a script. 
Advanced Acting
Here you'll find more intense study, from stage combat to historical acting styles. We are also proud to devise original theatre in conjunction with the special education department. This original work will tour to our feeder schools.
Production Workshop 
Emphasis is placed on producing theatre, from technical elements to stage management, from producing a play to building a flat. This senior-level class helps produce the two productions that we perform. 


A copy of each syllabus can be found on Schoology at this link.

Grading policy

Grades are weighted, with tests and projects that require more effort being given more points that participation grades. Students may be graded on tests, performaces, design projects, script analysis, and many other activities related to theatre.
Every theatre student is REQUIRED to see the two HHS plays, one in the fall, and one in the spring. These are A Midsummer Night's Dream, November 8-12, and Mamma Mia!, March 1-4.
Every Introduction to Theatre Honors student is required to see one play in the Memphis community per quarter, and write a critique on it.
Extra credit can be gotten by seeing a play in the Memphis community (approved by me) and writing a critique of that play. 

Discipline Policy

Most discipline problems can be cleared up by a collaborative conversation with the student. If this conversation isn't successful, a call will be given to the parents. If a problem with the student's behavior still persists, an administrator will be called. Most problems are avoided if students exhibit empathy, respect, and curiosity.

Houston High School Production Photos

About Me


1st period: Introduction to Theatre
2nd period: Introduction to Theatre Honors
3rd period: Advanced Acting Honors
4th period: Honors Production Workshop
5th period: Acting Honors 
6th period: Introduction to Theatre 

Weekly plans and resources

Please see my Schoology calendar for weekly plans and resources. For more information on Schoology and how to log in, visit our Schoology info page.

Important Theatre Dates, 2018-2019

Important Theatre Dates
August 29 and 30, Auditions for A Midsummer Night's Dream
3:00 to 4:30
November 9-12, Performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Nov. 9, 10, and 12 at 7:00 pm
Nov. 11 at 2:30 pm 
November 26 and 27, Auditions for Mamma Mia! 
3:00 to 5:30 (some students may be released early)
March 1-4, Performances of Mamma Mia!
March 1, 2, and 4 at 7:00 pm
March 3 at 2:30 


Kell's Hirschfeld In addition to teaching at Houston High School, I am a professional actor and director in Memphis. I served Theatre Memphis as the Artistic Director and Director of Education for several years. I am a graduate with an MFA from the University of Memphis, and with an M.Ed. from Freed-Hardeman University. Past projects include Emelia in Othello, Jack's Mother in Into the Woods, and Grandma Addams in The Addams family. I serve on many boards and committees in Memphis, and I have served the Tennessee Arts Commission as a grant advisor, and was awarded an NEH grant for intensive study of Shakespeare. I believe in teaching the individual in each child, helping them become the artist with the voice that is unique to them.
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