The Naz Drama department wasn’t always as robust and glamorous as it is today. The success of the program is due to thirty years of hard work, dedication, and passion that’s been poured into the Drama department by the one and only Kim White.
This spring, we celebrate the thirty years White has contributed to Nazareth and the legacy she has engraved through her work with the Fine Arts department.
In addition to her Speech and Acting classes, White heads the Naz Drama program and is in charge of presenting two full-scale productions – the fall play and the spring musical – each year. Additionally, White’s Advanced Acting classes present a children’s play each year.
Many years ago, before the Romano Family Theatre existed, White’s classroom was located in the basement of M building and students had to rehearse for plays and musicals in the cafeteria. With no theatre space at the time, Naz would rent a stage and with the help of parents, construct it in the gym for performances. The addition of the state-of-the-art Romano Family Theatre allowed the program to grow and flourish.
White admits that her first year at Nazareth was not easy. She had been teaching for 10 years at her beloved alma mater, St. Francis in Wheaton. She shared, “The first year was truly a test, but the second year was awesome.” There was one student in particular who made sure White’s first year would not be her last. It was a student director named Janet Hoda – who we now know as Janet Rausch, Naz’s current Director of Campus Ministry. “Thank God for her,” added White.
While White’s teaching methods stand out as unique, they also stand out as highly successful and effective. Senior Ceci Rabiela shared, “Mrs. White’s teaching was not your standard, like, ‘Everyone open your books and let’s learn about stage directions.’ Rather, we learned through educational experiences. These experiences left a deeper imprint on her students than any test or quiz ever could.”
White creates strong bonds with her students and cares for them as if they were her own children. Senior Sophia Cho said, “Mrs. White is honestly like a second mother to me. I always come to her for advice, inside and outside of the classroom, because she is so good at comforting me and teaching me great lessons.”
Her undeniable enthusiasm and passion for theatre and teaching is something that she transfers directly to her students. The bond that forms between White and her students is strong. Senior Luke Baumel agrees, “The greatest thing that I will never forget about Mrs. White is her love. Not only does she have a beautiful love for theater, but she loves every student that she teaches and directs.”