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Dr. Manoogian Brings Life to GCHS Stage.


BreAnna Jackson, Writer

For as long as he could remember Dr. John Manoogian wanted to be a teacher of the performing arts. From starting his career right out of college at Lindenwood college to now working on 17 years at the high school, Manoogian has shared his creativity with the community. 

He never thought about teaching at the high school level, but when contacted for an English teaching job here at GCHS he decided to take the job. Yet, with the lack of staff he was asked to take over the theater program for a temporary position as well. As we all can see that temporary turned into a forever home for Dr. Manoogian.

“When I was in high school we had a group of probably 4 or 5 teachers. One did the Homecoming play, one did the winter play- as we called it then, and one did the spring musical. Today it’s just me doing everything for one department.”

We as a community know that the sets for the shows Dr. Manoogian puts on are the most beautiful and elaborate sets we have seen. The reason being, not only does it make all the difference to our program but also for our technical theater classes. Manoogian states that the sets have to be, “Elaborate enough to keep the students busy for up to 4 weeks.”

     Though, Manoogian plans to retire from GCHS in the next few years that does not mean that he will be disappearing from our program all together.  In his final years as director, Dr. Manoogian would like to revisit some of his favorite shows. Some examples, being this year’s spring musical “Cinderella” and the 2019 Homecoming play, “Private Lives.” 

     Dr. Manoogian plans to come back and help whomever may be taking over the program for him,whether it be a prior student or a professional director, as well as help in the community.  

Dr. Manoogian has pretty much directed it all, from Shakespeare’s “Women” to his most recent, “Private Lives”. He has proven himself to be a very creative and hardworking man. 

“I was brought up in an era where it stressed the importance of discipline in acting and commitment,” said Dr. Manoogian. “To be an effective actor you have to have a strong work ethic. As a director, I have been known to beg, borrow, and steal, just like your most creative people in the world have. As far as the blocking and movement of a show I come up with it all on my own, it’s completely original. So what it comes down to, when explaining my madness is trying to really develop an appreciation for the art and for the students who come through my doors,” he continued.

     Manoogian expressed that he has little regret for any of the decisions he made. There is only one thing he seems to regret: not starting a family or spending more time in his personal life, seeing as his life is consumed by theater and his own education. 

“I don’t regret any of that at all because I have had such good opportunities in the process but it really does take a toll on your personal life. I have been very fortunate and been treated very well in all that I’ve done for a career. “

 As much as he has loved being on stage Dr. Manoogian prefers to be behind the scenes much more now than he did then. That being said, that doesn’t mean he hates being on stage. This spring he will be acting in a two man show directed by Karen Robertson called “Mass Appeal”. Times, dates, and location  are all still pending.

“This will be my first time on stage in several years so I’m excited to see how that will turn out.” 

You can also come out and support the arts and Dr. Manoogian himself in the 13th annual production of “A Christmas Carol.” Production dates are Thursday, December 5th, through Saturday, December 7th at 7pm, as well as a matinee on Sunday, December 8th at 2pm.