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Hanson stands atop Fiona’s tower, a set piece he built.

LaPorte High School’s new Performing Arts Center director

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Theater isn’t just about the actors. It’s true that they’re an integral part of telling a story on stage, but they aren’t the only piece of the complex puzzle that is putting together a show. Technical directors and stage crews are equally as important when creating an immersive experience for an audience. The Performing Arts Center at LaPorte High School gained a valuable asset for its theater department with Tim Hanson, who joined the Slicer family in January.

Hanson was hired as the PAC director earlier in the second semester. He co-teaches the Theater Arts, Advanced Theater Arts, Technical Theater, and Musical Theater classes with the theater teacher Roberto Sanchez. Hanson focuses more on the technical aspect of theater such as building sets and working in the lighting booth on his own and with students. 

Before he started working at LPHS, Hanson went to Indiana University — South Bend and received a Bachelor of Arts in theater. For a while after that, he did tech for a children’s theater tour and worked in the art department for the movie Prancer, which was filmed partially La Porte. He went on to major in design and technical production at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he received his Master of Fine Arts degree. He also worked in a professional theater in Texas and at Western Michigan University as their technical director before he came back to his home state of Indiana to become the Performing Arts Director at LPHS. 

Hanson was excited to come teach at LaPorte, mostly because he was familiar and impressed with some of the students that had graduated from the high school. 

“I’m really excited to be here. I love coming to work. It’s just that the people here are so nice,” Hanson said. 

The PAC itself is another aspect of teaching at LPHS that Hanson really enjoys. The sound and lighting systems are high quality, and he appreciates how nice the space is to work in, but overall, his favorite part of teaching is the students. He genuinely enjoys the technical aspects of theater, and he loves when he can see that attitude being reflected back at him in his students. 

“I really enjoy what I do, and I want other people to enjoy it, too. Students are always so excited and willing to learn, and I just love working with them. That’s why it’s my favorite part because they’re always so cool,” Hanson said. 

Putting on a show like the upcoming performance of Shrek the Musical is not a simple task. Directing is difficult enough on its own, so it’s relieving to know that Hanson will be giving his all with his amazing sets and technical skills. LPHS is glad to welcome him into the ranks of the performing arts teachers and fortunate to have him. 

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