DI: Why did you start Jester Educational Theater?
KM: I love drama and education. I came to the conclusion after much reflection and experience that I could make a difference in the lives of young people through doing drama in schools. I’ve come to understand that this has great potential for education.
DI: You were a teacher before this, right?
KM: Still am! I’m well in my third decade of grading quizzes and writing hall passes.
DI: You teach drama?
KM: I’ve taught everything, I think, except drama, ironically enough. These days I teach ESL. I teach the polite use of the perfect tense.
DI: Portland has a lot of theater companies. How does JET distinguish itself?
KM: All theater companies say they make a difference, and I’m sure it’s true! This is how JET is unique–we perform academic musicals with a live band in high poverty, Title One grade schools. That’s our schtick, and I would love to know about any other companies in this area that match us—‘academic musicals,’ ‘live band,’ ‘in-school performances’ and ‘Title One Schools.’
DI: And you do math musicals…seriously?
DI: And you write these shows?
KM: I write the shows–I am the Barry Manilow of children’s musical theater.
DI:…okay, no response to that. Favorite venue?
KM: Yes! A few years ago we took Alice in Mathland to the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics Summer Math Leadership Conference at Linfield College. We rocked it!