MANSFIELD — Superintendent of Schools Teresa Murphy is pleased to announce that acclaimed Broadway set designer and Mansfield Public Schools graduate David Korins will be speaking remotely to Qualters Middle School students today.
Korins graduated from Mansfield High School in 1994. He has designed sets for several Broadway productions, including “Hamilton,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Beetlejuice” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” (which had just started previews in March before performances were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
He earned an Emmy for production design for “Grease: Live!” in 2016, as well as several Tony Award, Lortel Award, Obie Award Drama Desk Award and Henry Hewes Design Award nominations.
Korins will be speaking via Google Meet with Jessica Strunin and Patrick McCrossan’s sixth and seventh grade theater students today, May 27, both about his personal experiences in theater and what it means to be a professional set designer.
Students in the Qualters Middle School Drama Club will also be invited. The club was scheduled to put on the production “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” this spring before it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Students will be able to ask Korins questions following his presentation.
Strunin and McCrossan had been doing research on ways to remotely engage with their students about theatrical elements such as props, costumes and set design. They came across several videos with Korins discussing the set designs for “Hamilton” and “Beetlejuice.”
“My mother, a former teacher in the Sharon Public Schools, was recently a guest speaker in a former colleague’s digital classroom and shared that many students showed up and they were very active and interested,” Strunin said. “I thought that if we could get a guest speaker to talk with our theater students, it could be a cool and unique learning opportunity and another way to get the students engaged. Being a former Mansfield student, and having accomplished so much on Broadway, David seemed like the perfect choice.”
Strunin then reached out to Korins about speaking directly with QMS students.
“I am excited to share my experiences with the students,” Korins said. “Even though I’ve been living in New York City for 21 years, if you cut me open I still bleed Mansfield green and white.”
Qualters theater students have been keeping busy during the school closure. For the past few weeks they have been working on a project where they have taken a children’s book from their home and designed various theatrical elements around it, including a prop, a costume and a set.
“Given the world we currently live in, it is so important that our students remain engaged in learning and have opportunities to explore the things they are passionate about,” Superintendent Murphy said. “Having someone of David Korins’ skill and experience speak to our sixth and seventh grade theater students is a terrific way for us to use remote learning to our advantage, and we are thrilled he has agreed to participate.”