Mr. Van Antwerp
Mr. Alan Van Antwerp joined the Pingry drama department to teach Drama and Public Speaking in both the Middle and Upper Schools. He will be teaching Drama 8 in the Middle School, Drama 2 for sophomores, and Public Speaking, an elective open to all Upper School students. Additionally, he is the club advisor for the Podcast Club and will be taking the role of Technical Theatre Director, overseeing lights for the upcoming plays and musicals this year.
Mr. Van Antwerp attended Montclair State University in New Jersey where he received a Bachelor of the Arts. He is also pursuing his masters in Theatre Studies. When asked what made him want to become a drama teacher, he said, “I had an amazing theatre director in high school and I took a lot from how he taught and directed shows.”
Mr. Van Antwerp has had many professional experiences in theater. He was the stage manager and event coordinator for Broadway Sings, a company that takes Broadway actors on their off days and has them perform a ninety-minute original musical cabaret act. Also, for almost nine summers, he taught Performing Arts at the Passaic Valley High School in New Jersey.
Regarding his experience at Pingry so far, he said enthusiastically, “I love Pingry! The students have been very welcoming and the Drama Department has been very supportive. Pingry values the arts and I really appreciate that.” His goals for the school year are “to ask good questions and to be a fair and balanced evaluator. My funniest goal might be to not get lost.”
In his free time, Mr. Van Antwerp likes to take part in community theatre. He has a number of other hobbies as well. He commented, “I love golf and I love tennis. I love dogs and in my spare time I often play with my best friend’s dog.” He added, “I love food. So having lunch here has been extraordinary.” When asked what advice he can give to aspiring actors, he replied, “To be your toughest critic and to continue to think about the process of getting better, not the end result.”
To the community, Mr. Van Antwerp would like to say, “Theatre sometimes might get a bad rap in school. I think that theatre is something that teaches you life skills in a non-classroom way. Theatre teaches empathy.” Mr. Van Antwerp is very excited to be a part of the Pingry community, and he is ready to spread his passion for theater throughout the school.