Sidwell Welcomes New Upper School Tech Theater Teacher Rebecca Pfeil

Rebecca Pfeil joined the Sidwell Friends Upper School community as the new tech theater teacher this year. Pfeil teaches classes in introductory and advanced technical theater in addition to overseeing tech for school productions, including “Urinetown,” this year’s spring musical.

When asked why she wanted to work in theater, Pfeil answered, “I’ve always loved theater…My mom took me to the theater as soon as I could sit through a movie.”

Pfeil became involved in theater at a young age, beginning as an actor at her community theater. Once she was older, she started to work backstage.

There’s a magic to how things work that the audience doesn’t see on stage.

— Rebecca Pfeil

Though Pfeil loves performance art as a whole, she prefers technical theater to acting.

“I think that there’s a magic to how things work that the audience doesn’t see onstage,” Pfeil said. “I like knowing how things work,” she added.

At Sidwell, Pfeil enjoys teaching her classes and is inspired by her students’ enthusiasm.  Addressing her critical role as the director of tech theater for school productions, Pfeil explained that despite the stress of tech week, the week before the first performance, “seeing all the different elements come together is always really fun.”

She describes her class as an opportunity for students to help out with productions while learning technical skills. The students work on costume design, stage makeup, props and sets for the productions.

Some of the students in Pfeil’s class work in tech for the show, while others participate in the show as actors. “It’s useful to see both sides,” Pfeil said, explaining how the mix of students in the class allows for a better understanding of what is happening both onstage and offstage.

Prior to teaching at Sidwell, Pfeil worked at a youth children’s theater and enjoyed sharing her passion with her students.

“I’ve always liked working with students,” she said. “I think sharing knowledge is really fun, and also seeing them get the creative problem-solving and the fun imaginative creative choices you can make within theater,” she added.

In terms of the productions, Pfeil values the uniqueness of each show.

“No show is the same,” she said. “It’s always different and always changing and has new possibilities to apply your skills to,” she continued.

Pfeil believes that tech is the perfect chance for students to be involved in theater if they are not interested in acting.

“It’s accessible even if you don’t have any experience in theater,” she concluded, encouraging students to join her class.