Tyler Hunsaker: Directing “The Giver” at Hillview School

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on January 28, 2011

Hillview Middle School teacher Tyler Hunsaker

A year ago this time Tyler Hunsaker was finishing his student teaching in Montana. “My dream job when I started college was to teach high school choir,” he said, sitting in the over-stuffed drama/music room at Hillview Middle School. “But then I had a student teaching assignment at a middle school. So now this is my dream job!”

Hillview Middle School's production of The GiverIn his first year of teaching, the music major is experiencing another first – directing a student production. This Friday and Saturday, the school is presenting The Giver, a one-act play based on the Newberry Award-winning book by Lois Lowry. It tells the tale of Jonas, a boy selected in a Utopian society to receive all the memories of previous times, including pain and joy.

“I picked The Giver because I wanted something as simple as possible,” said Tyler. “It was one of my favorite books as a kid and I thought it would be a great tie in for Hillview. Both the kids and the other teachers have been really supportive.”

Young actors getting ready to rehearse The Giver at Hillview SchoolTyler says The Giver is a great play for families to see together. “It portrays unity and sameness but as it unfolds, there are real choices to make and differences to celebrate.”

About 30 Hillview students are involved in the production, as actors and stagehands. It will be presented at the school’s Multipurpose Room on Friday, Jan. 28 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, Jan. 29 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Tickets – $5 for adults and $2 for students – are available at the door.

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