Wendell Tabb celebrates 25 years of directing plays
Wendell Tabb has been teaching in the Hillside theatre department for 25 years and has directed and developed more than 50 plays and musicals, including The Wiz, Beauty and the Beast, Dream Girls and Fame. Mr. Tabb’s plays and musicals feature an average of 40 to 60 students on large shows and an average of 15 to 20 in smaller shows.
On showcase night, an average of 600 people attend the musicals or the plays, Mr. Tabb said. The plays are usually one to two hours long. The theatre department is currently working on a new script for The Story: African Americans Who Made A Difference and also plans for another international trip. The Wiz, The Story, I Just Wanna Tell Somebody and Hairspray are some of the future showcases coming up.
Mr. Tabb stated that he enjoys his job. “I enjoy watching the students demonstrate on stage what they have learned to the best of their ability,” he said. “I enjoy most about my job the opportunity to meet so many people through building community relationships.”
Allison Wilson, a Hillside senior who will play Evilene in the upcoming production of The Wiz, said when she was a freshman, it was her first time doing The Wiz, and now that she’s a senior, they’re doing it again. “The Wiz was my opening number to Hillside and the closing number to my four years.”
Although Mr. Tabb has directed and showcased many plays and musicals, he stated, “I really do not have a best play. Each play has its own challenge and artistic style. The Wiz is probably the best in terms of audience appeal, but Once On This Island is the most challenging to direct because the music runs continuously throughout the whole show.”
Mr. Tabb complimented his students: “I give credit to the present and former students for the success of our drama department. They are truly dedicated and committed to carrying out and maintaining its legacy.”