Science Department Chair Fritz Goodman is a cherished member of the school community as a biology teacher and athletic coach, but what many are unaware of is his talent and passion for theatre. In fact, Mr. Goodman is an accomplished thespian.
When he was younger, he earned enough points to be a member of the Thespian Society, an honors group for high school and middle school theater students. Mr. Goodman attended Princeton High School in Illinois, where he was involved in many facets of student life. While a diligent student, he was also an athlete and actor and took part in his school’s speech club. In this club, he and a partner would participate in an event called dramatic duets and memorize scenes from plays. “Both being in the speech team and performing on stage helped me learn how to speak in public without being afraid,” he said.
On top of flexing his speaking skills, he also learned how to manage his time in order to fully participate both in the club and in his other activities. “Sports were in the afternoon, and theater practices were at night, so I would have sports, eat, and then go to rehearsal,” Mr. Goodman said. While he admitted rehearsals were a hefty time commitment, he said they were also very enjoyable because many of his friends were involved in theater as well.
Mr. Goodman said his first high school production was a very memorable experience because of his role in the play. “I played a sort of FBI agent, and I had to carry a screaming lady down a flight of stairs, and that was my introduction to acting,” he reminisced. From that point onward, Mr. Goodman experimented with many different types of acting. Initially, he participated in musicals as part of the ensemble, but as time went on, he gradually switched to the more technical aspects of theater, working behind the scenes on lighting design and the sound board. Ultimately, Mr. Goodman said his favorite high school production was “Jack and the Beanstalk” because he distinctly remembered having a talented and hard-working cast and crew.
Mr. Goodman said he is grateful for having been so involved in the arts as a teenager because he believes it allowed him to develop a great appreciation for the arts throughout his life. “I learned to like Shakespeare, and to this day I still enjoy poetry, and that would not have happened if not for my experiences in theater.” Some of his favorite performances that he has watched include “A Chorus Line” on Broadway, “The Wiz” at a Chicago theater, and “Miss Saigon,” his favorite production, at the Bushnell in Hartford.
Although the KO community may not have realized it, Mr. Goodman loves being a thespian and appreciates the world of theater. At KO, he likes to support students during the fall play and musical because he knows a lot about what it takes to put on the elaborate productions, which gives him an overall appreciation for the hard work that students, staff, and guests put into performing arts. Next time you see him in the hallway or at practice, instead of only wondering about the next big test or track meet, it might be well worth asking him about his secret passion and getting to know more.