By Kathy L. Collins

The end of the 2015-2016 school year is bittersweet for Durant High School’s Theatre Department. While they get to put on the Mel Brooks’ production Young Frankenstein, the Musical, they must also say good-bye to long time theatre teacher, Ed Mason.

Mason has been with Durant High School since it opened in 1995. Mason has had quite a run at Durant. Under his tenure, they have produced over 80 shows including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Funny Girl, Fools and Beauty and the Beast.

Reflecting upon retirement, Mason said, “I have more memories than I can count. With productions and competitions, my kids have excelled, and they have taught me as much as I have taught them. The legacy I wish to leave behind is that theatre is an outlet for creativity with life skills.” Mason added, “I have tried to have the kids live by our troupe motto, ‘I will hold you up, I will not let you fall.’ We have been there for each other all of these years. If I could put it into one sentence, it would be, work hard, have fun and give the audience 150 percent.”

Mason has had students go on to be working actors in New York, a college professor, a founder of a traveling acting group, an award winning play writer and a technical director. Even Mason’s daughter spent four years in the program. Mason said, “I am proud of all my students who have allowed me to be a part of their lives. I truly love them all and consider them my kids.”

Capping his career with the production of Young Frankenstein, the Musical, Mason wanted to end on a high note. Based on the movie of the same name, Young Frankenstein, the Musical is filled with all of the madcap moments that are present in the movie version with some catchy music to go along with it.

Young Frankenstein, the Musical will be performed Thursday, April 21; Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Parents please note that this play may not be suitable for children under the age of 13.

You can also support Durant High School’s Theatre by becoming a sponsor or donor as they raise funds to purchase wireless microphones for future productions. For more information, contact Edward.mason@sdhc.k12.fl.us.