Member Spotlight: C. Allen Bettis
A high school and college theater arts teacher, C. Allen Bettis shares with SHN some of his favorite memories as an SHN member.
What are your top five favorite Broadway shows?
- Once on this Island
- In the Heights
- Kinky Boots
- Head over Heels
What was the first Broadway show you saw?
A Chorus Line. It was a traveling show and my college was asked to provide the ushers. I saw the show every night for a week.
Which character in a musical or play do you most identify with and why?
Charlie Price (Kinky Boots). He was given a responsibility to carry on the family legacy/business but he wasn’t geared for it. Instead, he took the “gift” and made into something that fit his style. I did the same.
Have you ever performed on stage?
Yes. I was tricked into playing a minor role by a college professor. And then into playing a major role. The bug bit and I’ve been in the wings ever since.
What does theater and/or Broadway mean to you?
Theater is a way to share ideas, opinions, and views in a manner that is accessible and entertaining. It is a communication source that reaches more people more readily and more effectively than other methods. You might say, theater is the universal church.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Nobody knows I have a degree in classical guitar.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Building a full-time high school theater arts program from scratch in a high-poverty school using very little funding from outside sources
If you could have dinner with one person (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Stephen Sondheim – I want to know how he develops those sophisticated lyrics.
Why did you decide to become an SHN Member?
As a teacher of theater, it is important for me to keep abreast of the current shows and trends. But, as a teacher, a yearly trek to New York is a strain on the budget. Luckily I found SHN was offering current plays and musicals by Broadway performers at a local venue (which I’ve found is much more spectacular that many in New York). Not only were the shows conveniently located, but SHN also made it possible for me to expose my students to the quality of a Broadway show (as opposed to the local high school/community theater shows) and instill in them the desire to go over the top in their theater practice.
What do you like best about your membership experience?
The convenience of making changes when necessary. And the guarantee that a decent seat to the shows I want to see is awaiting me without the hassle of waiting online or in line hoping a ticket is available.