Whitman drama hires new director Randy Snight

By Joseph Ferrari

Whitman Drama announced actor Randy Snight will be director of the department beginning this fall, filling the position Christopher Gerken held for 12 years before his resignation in January.

Interim director Jonathan Rizzardi directed the last Whitman production, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.” Snight’s role will be to direct the fall musical and spring play; he will also supervise the talent show.

Snight previously worked in the drama programs at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney. He currently teaches at the Metropolitan School of the Arts in Arlington and looks forward to bringing his wide variety of theatre experience to Whitman, he said.

“I’ve performed outside in 100 degree heat, I’ve done Shakespeare outdoors, musical theater outdoors, I’ve worked with children, I’ve worked underwater, I’ve worked in the air,” Snight said. “If it happens and people pay money to see it, I’ve been doing it.”

Principal Alan Goodwin, choral director Jeffrey Davidson and media services technician Travis Swiger were all involved in hiring Snight.

“He reminds us of what Christopher Gerken was like when Christopher started here,” Davidson said. “He’s just a real drama guy. He had that same type of energy and experience and enthusiasm.”

Sophomore Harley Pomper, who worked as Whitman Drama’s assistant technical director this year, said Snight’s biggest challenge will likely be maintaining the same atmosphere Whitman Drama is known for.

“It’s one of the hardest jobs as a teacher to go into a new environment and keep it the same when you had no knowledge of what it was like before,” Pomper said. “You always want to make sure that that person is going to maintain the culture and maintain the quality of the shows, but I have no doubt that this director will be able to do that.”

The program’s next production, and Snight’s first Whitman production, will be the fall musical. Looking forward, Snight hopes to continue the high quality of Whitman Drama productions as best he can, he said.

“It’s fun to come inside somewhere that’s really established, and bring in more ideas,” Snight said. “I know that this school does things big, and they do things well, and I want to continue doing that.”