New drama teacher Tim Bambara shakes up the drama department

Joey Durkin, Managing Editor

Teachers, old and new, come and go over time. New faces bring changes to their subjects, including Theatre Arts, a program filled with less traditional classroom experiences. A new teacher needs to be able to match the energy of the atypical classroom with an equal amount of vigor. Enter new drama teacher Tim Bambara.

“Mr. Bambara is a very passionate and enthusiastic teacher who really wants to work hands on with all of his students,” senior Michael Rosegrant said. “I really like how responsive he is to the students that he is working with.”

Bambara’s theater education and experience from James Madison University and Virginia Commonwealth University give him a wide base of knowledge to share with his students.

“It’s exciting to have a fresh face within the theater,” theatre department chair Shannon Khatcheressian said. “He has a lot of expertise to bring to the department; for example, he studied fight choreography so for the first time one of our teachers is doing a fight choreography lesson.”

Retired drama teacher Ed Monk led a 27-year career at Chantilly, and in that time, made bonds with many students. Bambara, his replacement, has big shoes to fill.

“I was a little worried that students, especially those who had worked with [Mr. Monk], would have a little resistance toward the new guy,” Bambara said. “But it’s been the exact opposite of that.”

Students too agree that the transition between teachers has been as close to painless as possible.

“Chantilly drama has a long legacy of being one of the best departments in Fairfax County; so, when a new teacher comes in, it is very easy for students to adapt,” Rosegrant said. “A combination of the students’ flexibility and the teacher’s flexibility makes it possible for us to go in head on and keep producing the high caliber shows we are known for producing.”

Bambara acts as a leader to the production while also remaining open to his students’ input.

“[Bambara] is receptive to all of our ideas and so when we are, for example, creating a set design, he’s not shoving an idea down our throats,” Rosegrant said. “Instead, it’s all of us having a conversation about what we want it to look like and then him telling us the plausibility.”

To the students, Bambara has and will continue to be a welcomed and important piece of the drama department.

“For the first time in my life, I’m really pumped up to go to work every day,” Bambara said. “I’m really appreciative of the student body because they’re so hardworking, polite and funny. They always seem happy to be here; it’s a really positive environment.”