MacLeod makes dramatic entrance


Story by Stephanie Suster, Staff Writer

Draw the curtains, turn on the lights and set the stage for the woman taking East Meck’s theater department by storm: Bernadette Macleod.

Macleod is the current theater teacher at East Meck. She has been teaching for 17 years, this being her second year at East. In her first year, she succeeded in bringing back musicals with the amazing production of Footloose. This year, the fall play Mutually Assured Destruction brought in large crowds and just as many are eager to see how the spring musical, The Wiz, will turn out. Macleod has been thrilled with the response they have received from staff and students, so it might be hard to believe that she did not intend to be a teacher.

“I kind of fought against it,” Macleod said. “I started out working in educational theater doing performances and part of that would include going into schools and doing workshops. I enjoyed it and I was good at it, but I thought that- oh, I’ve gotta go and I gotta try the whole actor in New York thing to see if that’s what I want to do. But I never really worked very hard at that.”

Macleod would later stumble upon an experience that changed her mind about teaching.

“I hadn’t been teaching for a couple of years and a friend of mine asked me to do a camp,” she said. “They had some grant money and he was like ‘oh, can you do this’ and I said yes. I was planning on moving out to LA and at the end of that week I called my friend that I was moving with and I was like, ‘I can’t go. I know what I’m supposed to be doing. I have to go back to school and get my master’s degree.’ ”

With close to two decades of teaching experience, Macleod has created and continues to create memories with her students.

“You can ask my kids,” Macleod said. “There are days where I’m like I just love you guys so much. They’re so awesome, so there’s always something. For example, last week when one of our leads got sick the kids pulled it together and learned a part in 48 hours so that they were ready to perform. That’s impressive and exciting, you know, what people can accomplish and how they can work together as an ensemble.”

Those who have worked with Macleod have learned a lot about acting, regardless of how long they have done theater.

“I’ve definitely learned from her there’s a lot more aspects than just reading your lines or learning your blocking,” sophomore Julianna Kantor said. “It’s very important to know what you’re doing when you get up there on stage.”

Kantor has taken acting classes since she was four years old and dreams of making it on Broadway. “She’s really given me a director’s perspective,” she said. “I’ve never really gotten that before in any of my other acting classes and she’s really good at going back to the basics and building foundations from the bottom up.”

Students who took theater before Macleod arrived have also been pleased with the direction she is taking the department.

“She has been getting stuff done,” junior Jake Barnhardt said. “The East Meck theater department is changing for the better.”

Overall, students are excited about working with her and seeing what she will accomplish in the future.

“She’s a teacher that really wants to get this done to the perfected standards that she needs,” sophomore Darryl Eaddy said. “Even if we are new there, she does all she can to help and I so admire all that she does for the whole play ‘cause if it was not for her then none of what got done, would get done.”