Each week through our Faculty/Staff Spotlight series, we invite our community members to get to know Gulliver Prep teachers and staff members across every division. This week, our Spotlight features Mrs. Marianni Groves, Middle School Drama Faculty. Read on to discover her favorite thing about Gulliver, her experience in theatre, and more.
Q: How long have you been at Gulliver? What is your favorite thing about our school?
A: I started at Gulliver fall of 2019. In many ways I feel like this school year has been my first real time in Miami due to COVID. My favorite thing about Gulliver is having the opportunity to observe students in so many environments. I love watching my drama students take to the football/baseball/lacrosse fields, perform in amazing dance performances, bring music to life in choir and orchestra, and more. Being able to see them in so many environments helps me to see more of their whole self. It is rare for a Middle School student to be able to truly have so many vastly different experiences. It is vital to their development and I think that is my favorite thing at Gulliver.
Q: What is one thing people may not know about you?
A: I love to paint.
Q: How did you become interested in the theatre?
A: I started doing theatre when I was in kindergarten. According to my mom, I was actually doing it way before then around the house. My relationship with theatre has grown and morphed in so many ways over the years. I spent many years performing, then one day I was taking a bow and realized I was on the wrong side of the table, which was my final understanding that I wanted to be on the creative team side of things. Since then I have directed over 250 plays and can’t wait for the next one!
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching Middle School drama?
A: LOL I would say everything – except the hard days? But it is true. From asking how the weekend went, to seeing the ‘aha’ moments, to watching them wrestle with their own insecurities and joys, to witnessing the moment when they feel it in their bones and want to just keep going. It is all the moments; large and small.
Q: Why is exposing children to the arts so important to you?
A: I believe that theatre is the act of being human. I believe we as a global community need more practice in this area. The intrinsic human qualities, skills, and understanding that are introduced and honed in drama are imperative during the developmental years of Middle School students.
Raider Rapid Fire!
Favorite afternoon snack: Honeycrisp apple with lemon juice on it
The last book you read: The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan
A song that puts you in a good mood every time: “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison
Favorite theatre production to watch: Hmm… this is a hard one. It is hard to watch and not let my director’s brain engage. Riverdance never fails… I could never create it so I can just watch and appreciate it.
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