Five Decades of Drama


Audrey Domasky, Copy Editor

You have seen the North Hills Theater Productions; the sets, the choreography, the stage directions, etc. But do you know who is behind it all? This past week I sat down with Glen Richey, the North Hills Drama Club Director. This spring, he is celebrating 50 years of involvement in theater. Since he is, for the most part, behind the scenes, I wanted to give him a chance to be in the spotlight with this interview.

When did you first begin to participate in theater productions?

I started in 11th grade, which was exactly 50 years ago at North Hills. At that time, you could participate in two shows: the junior class show and the senior class show. The junior class production was called The Man Who Came to Dinner, and I played the part of the doctor.

What did you do after high school?

I went to Slippery Rock University as a history major. While I was there, I met a lot of theater majors and became more interested. From there, I became a double major in history and theater.

How did you decide on stage production rather than acting?

Well, throughout my high school and college career, I performed in about a dozen shows. However, as I’m sure you are familiar with, I got uncomfortable when people did not know their lines. It was really frustrating when I knew my part, but other people were not taking theirs as seriously. So, I started working on the sets instead.

How did your career path lead you back to North Hills?

In 1969, I got a job here teaching and I began working with the theater productions the same year. It’s fun to work with high school students—that’s actually the only reason I do it.

Now, specifically, what is it like working with me?

My psychiatrist says I should quit soon. But really, we have begun to expect the unexpected with you. We give you a part, and we never really know what we’re going to get—it is sure to be weird, though.

Since I’ve been in the musicals, your son Kevin has been your partner in crime. How did he get involved with theater?

As you know, my wife and I got a divorce when Kevin was 8. So, when I got him on Saturdays, I would bring him to school and he would help us with the set. I remember one year, we stuck him in the production of Music Man with a bunch of elementary school students, even though he went to Pine Richland. Since then, he went to school to learn more about theater and has been helping me out.

What is your favorite part about the musicals you work on?

I love seeing them performed. It’s wonderful to see the final product of all of our hard work.

 What is the most stressful part of putting on a production?

Definitely the two weeks before the opening of the show. I am always questioning if the set will be done, if the dances are all choreographed, and if the orchestra is ready.

What is the most interesting thing to happen during a show?

34 years ago, during a Saturday run-through of the show Gypsy, I got a call that I had better get to the hospital. That day, Kevin was born.

If you were to replace one character in our current musical, 42nd Street, with yourself, which character would you like to be?

None of them…I can’t dance.

Okay, but if you COULD dance, who would you be?

Hmm, Pat Denning. He doesn’t have to dance.

Fifty years is a long time. How much longer do you plan on being the director at North Hills?

I retired seven years ago, and so I don’t know what I would do without doing this. Though, I don’t know how much longer I will be doing this. This winter, I realized that if I don’t have musicals and plays, I’d go crazy because I don’t want to sit at home all day.

After this interview, I realized there was so much more to Mr. Richey than I thought. And even 50 years later, Glen is still on his “A” game and even seems to be getting younger. The Drama Club definitely appreciates all of the hard work Mr. Richey has put into not only his wonderful productions, but also shaping students to be hardworking, learn more about themselves, work together, and learn skills for both on and behind stage.