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Theater Scene Janathan Caro practicing his role in Macbeth with Lily Robeson, Katie Bell and Felicity Hochholter. Below: Jonathan discusses his part with Andrew Cummings. Saving Live Oak Drama Guild For The Love Of Theater Written By Amy McElroy A fter Live Oak High School failed to hire a theater instructor in 2013, Spanish teacher Yoana Ware persuaded alumnus Andrew Cummings and his mother, Janell Cummings, to help save Live Oak Drama Guild. Both Janell and Andrew had continued their dedication to the theater program after Andrew’s graduation, designing and building sets, working lights and sound and backstage on his younger brothers’ productions. Andrew even designed the sets while he studied theater and microbiology at University of California, Berkeley. Ware—a Live Oak graduate who studied opera at San Jose State—offered to sponsor the after-school drama club, if Janell and Andrew would join the team. After graduation from college, Andrew started a theater company, and was pursuing directing and scenic design throughout the Bay Area, while working a day job as a graphic designer at Rebecca’s Portraits in Morgan Hill. During this time, Andrew began working after school at Live Oak with Ware, co-directing Arsenic and Old Lace with Janell and then directed Beauty and the Beast continuing to working with Janell’s support. 58 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Soon after, Andrew received a call from the Assistant Principal, Auri Yabrudy, offering him a job teaching biology and running the after-school drama program with assistance from Ware and his mother, Janell on a volunteer basis. Andrew finished up his design and directing jobs and started teaching in the fall. Now in his fourth year at Live Oak, he’s teaching English, added a drama course, and has expanded the after-school program, planning three shows for this year. Ware who still assists as an integral part of the theater program, often serving as producer and vocal coach, happens to be on maternity leave with a new baby boy. Carrying On Mr. K’s Legacy One thing Andrew, Janell and Ware all share is the vision retired teacher Bill Kilipstine, or “Mr. K.,” as he is known, had for the program. Andrew says Ware’s memories of participating in the strong theater program at Live Oak with Mr. K is what motivated Ware to sponsor the program when the administration hadn’t hired a theater faculty member. And Janell was there volunteering even NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016