Mr. Hixson: From Student to Teacher

Mr. Hixson, the man who will bring you all your favorite shows from this year's drama department.

 Christopher Hixson is the brand new drama teacher here at Mission Viejo High School. We are so lucky to have this MVHS alumni and University of Arizona graduate as the man teaching the future actors and actresses that will rise from the MVHS drama department. He hails from Mission Viejo, and he is really happy to be back at this school as a teacher. His passion is performing, and I trust that he is going to bring that to the classroom each and every day.

     After graduating from MVHS, Hixson received his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Musical Theater. Then he proceeded to spend some time in New York pursuing a professional acting career before returning to California and becoming a teacher. He was a teacher for nine years at Los Alisos Intermediate School. When comparing there to here he says that the biggest difference is in maturity levels and the amount of activities and events high schools have as opposed to middle schools. 

     When asked about his inspiration for becoming a teacher, Hixson told me that it was actually his experience here at MVHS that made him want to pursue this career path. His drama teacher played a large role in this decision, he explains that “I have been a performer my whole life, but I had a wonderful drama teacher at MVHS who gave us so many wonderful opportunities and created a community of friendships for me that still lasts today.” His experience then has inspired him to give his own students the same kind of memories. 

     After that I asked why he specifically chose to be a drama teacher. He told me that it was really important for him to be able to give back in a way to the subject that provided him with so much happiness in his youth and now. He also told me that drama was a really interesting subject to teach because of its lack of predictability. Every year is a new journey with new shows being put together as well as new students with new skills and dynamics. 

     I asked about his experience at MVHS so far after coming back as a teacher and he described it as a very positive one thus far, detailing the welcoming atmosphere and supportive environment. He says he feels “so welcomed by staff, students, and the community. Being a drama teacher, you are put in the spotlight because the community comes out to see shows. It’s been wonderful to feel so supported.”

     While Hixson clearly loves being a drama teacher, there are still some difficulties that come with it. Hixson told me the greatest of those difficulties is the time spent away from his wife and children. Drama is a demanding department to be a part of, and there is a large time commitment that comes with being the leader of it. While he manages to find a decent work-life balance, Hixson told me there are some nights and weekends where he doesn’t get to have much family time, and that can be hard. 

     On the other hand, his favorite part of being a drama teacher is watching students perform. He says they are incredibly talented and it’s a lot of fun to see them grow as performers. The range of activities the students perform, from improv to monologues, creates a lot of diversity, making the drama department a very fun class to teach and observe. 

     When asked about the current state of the drama department, Hixson told me everything is going great. The department is currently juggling preparations for ComedySportz and Twelfth Night. Touching on Twelfth Night, it sounds like it will be a show to remember. In case you aren’t aware, Twelfth Night is a comedy written by William Shakesphere including themes of love, mistaken identities, and foolishness. According to Hixson the drama department is “setting the show in modern times, and the students are working very hard to make it a great performance!”

     Hixson told me that the drama department this year is a very welcoming community. After spending so much time together working hard on these performances they become a family of sorts. He says they all lift one another up and support each other in all their endeavors. He says if he had to describe the drama department this year in one word he would say it’s fun. It was a pleasure learning more about Hixson, and after this interview  I would say we have a lot to look forward to from the drama department this year, and I think our new teacher Mr. Hixson is going to play a pretty big role in that.  

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Aubrey Bertino
Aubrey Bertino
Aubrey Bertino is a staff writer for the Diablo Dispatch. She enjoys drawing, the Muppets, Star Wars, and listening to music.

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