Tim Chappell
Tim Chappell
Tim Chappell found an opportunity at Kingsland after surfing the Internet.

"I was surfing the Internet, looking at different jobs when I came across this posting, and I thought, 'Could it be true?' A lot of times, people need a teaching degree to direct school plays, and I saw an opportunity here and really wanted to go after it," said Kingsland's spring play director, who will lead students in presenting two performances Friday, April 27, through Sunday, April 29, at the Spring Valley Community Center.

The Seattle, Wash., native, now a Rochester resident, comes to work in Spring Valley via "a one-year detour in Austin, Texas," and is enthusiastic about entering stage left and teaching students how to be actors and actresses with strong stage presence.

Chappell has been in theatre since high school. In community college he took theatre classes and then went on and received four-year degree in theatre arts and drama in 2004.

He noted, "I found out that it didn't pay the bills so well, so I got a job that does. I'm really excited to get back into theatre, to use my degree and my love and my passion for theatre. It's a lot of fun, definitely something I enjoy.

"I don't find it's a job - it's like a sport - people love to play baseball, but I enjoy theatre. It's kind of like I'm an artist with other people, crating artwork for other people to view when it's ready."

Chappell has chosen two one-act plays for this spring's Kingsland drama presentation, the first being "Take Five," and the second, "An Actor's Nightmare," both shows about actors' fears of what might happen onstage.

Chappell noted, "I wanted to introduce students to theatre and do something humorous, let them fall in love with theatre the way I did," he related.

"I want them to have a good introduction to it, and next year, if I'm asked back, we'll maybe do a musical or Shakespeare - I really like Shakespeare."

Auditions for the upcoming productions went really well, according to Chappell, and he had a good turn out. "I was able to cast all the roles, and each person got a role," he noted.

Chappell said he starts rehearsals by tossing out ideas for students to use in improvisation games, then goes on to engage them with their respective scripts to show them how to develop their characters.

"My goal is to create an after-school drama program for anyone interested in continuing learning, learning that theatre can be exciting, different, that there's always something new. If everybody's happy with me, I'd be honored to be given the opportunity to come back if I've earned that."

Chappell studies theatre outside of directing and acting, and also enjoys the greatest gig of his lifetime ... being a dad to his 2-year-old daughter.

"Outside of theatre, I like to do creative things, study dramaturgy - or the history of what theatre is - and I enjoy movies, exploring different areas of Minnesota with my family, taking in festivals around here.

"My wife and I like to do what's called 'getting lost,' just getting in the car and driving off in a direction to see where we end up."

Chappell concluded, "I'm fortunate to have this opportunity and get paid to do theatre."