Alumna directs her heart home

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Juliette Guice '17

Miss Michaela Gorman working on set of the upcoming fall play, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead".

 

Miss Michaela Gorman’s senior portrait 2005. Courtesy of Michaela Gorman

Miss Michaela Gorman, Convent of the Sacred Heart Middle and Upper School Drama Teacher and alumna ’05, draws the curtain on the new stages of the Sacred Heart drama program through her passion for theater. 

At a young age, Miss Gorman realized her interest and enthusiasm for the arts. She attended her local high school productions and was riveted by the passion and talent the students had. In high school, she decided to pursue theater.

Miss Michaela Gorman performing in "Father of the Bride" 2004.
Miss Michaela Gorman performing in “Father of the Bride” 2004. Courtesy of Miss Michaela Gorman

From sophomore to senior year at Sacred Heart, Miss Gorman participated in Anything Goes, Kiss Me Kate, Father of the Bride, and The Sound of Music. Despite playing mostly teenage boys, she said it was a wonderful experience that guided her towards her drama oriented career. 

Miss Gorman graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, with a Bachelor of Arts in dramaturgy. She then advanced to Hunter College for a Master’s Degree in theater.

“As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Notre Dame’s London undergraduate program, so I like to keep abreast of what is happening at the Globe and in the London theater community,” Miss Gorman said.

After graduating from Hunter College, Miss Gorman heard there was an opening in the Drama department at Sacred Heart.

“I was so thrilled by the timing of this position becoming available, as being not only an educator but specifically a Sacred Heart educator meant so much to me,” Miss Gorman said.” I always was really passionate about the Sacred Heart mission. As I grew to know that I wanted to be an educator, I was lead back to Sacred Heart because the school’s mission lined up with my personal philosophies.” 

In addition to teaching Middle and Upper School Drama classes, Miss Gorman directs both the Fall Play and Spring Musical for the Upper School. She is also the assistant director of the Middle School Musical.

This year, Miss Gorman hopes to teach her students a variety of theatrical skills. Her eighth-grade Drama class will focus on scenic painting, while Upper School Drama students have the option of working on acting, directing, play writing, and tech and lighting design.

“I am constantly impressed by how much passion, effort,and enthusiasm my students bring to everything they do,” Miss Gorman said. “All of my students are extremely hard working and always have a smile on their face.”

Miss Michaela Gorman preparing the set of "Oliver!" 2015.
Miss Michaela Gorman preparing the set of “Oliver!” 2015. Courtesy of Izzy Sio ’15

According to sophomore Ruslana Kharevska, a cast member of Oliver!, the first musical Miss Gorman directed at Sacred Heart, Miss Gorman has a mastery of all elements of theater, from lighting, to directing, to acting, to set painting.

“It is so nice to work with her, because she always makes really great suggestions and provides great support,” Ruslana said.

In her free time, Miss Gorman enjoys attending dramas, musicals, and various other theatrical productions. While she especially enjoys Shakespeare‘s Macbeth, she also appreciates modern theater.

“In particular, I have not been able to stop gushing to my students about Hamilton, which opened this summer on Broadway after a run at The Public. I hope to have the chance to see it soon,” Miss Gorman said. 

Miss Gorman’s passion for theater and teaching allows her to be a role model for Sacred Heart’s young actresses, according to her students.

“Miss Gorman’s hard work, positive attitude, and dedication to theater inspires the actors to perform to the best of their ability. She knows exactly what to say to allow the actress to empathize with her character so she can better translate the character’s essence on stage. Miss Gorman’s positive attitude and optimism makes her a pleasure to work with and makes the whole process more fun,” senior Tess Driscoll, a dedicated participant in Sacred Heart musicals, said.