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Bishop Ireton High School welcomes director Joanna Henry back to the stage

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Move over comedy. Bishop Ireton High School’s new theater director has something more dramatic and angry in mind for this year’s fall play. After a 12-year break, Joanna Henry, a 40-year theater veteran, returns as Ireton’s director of theater arts to direct the play “12 Angry Jurors.” This one-set play is a dramatic deviation from the high school’s recent comic performances and is a personal favorite of Henry’s. 


“I am really excited to be back and working with the students again. The energy is unmatched with high school students.” Joanna Henry

“It is a play I have loved for years. I used the movie in my theater class because it is a beautiful study of dramatic characters,” said Henry. “This particular play is different from the others because it is 12 people and they never leave the stage.”


Henry worked with the Vienna Theatre Company when she first moved to the area in 1983. She started teaching theater and directing plays at Ireton in 2000. Four years later, she stepped down as director but continued to teach all four levels of theater, mentor the International Thespian Society, an honors theater society, and help with other theater-related activities. The break also allowed her to be more involved in the Little Theatre of Alexandria where she has directed several shows for many years, including musicals, dramas and comedies. 


Henry was approached by the Ireton administration last year to take up the role of director of Theater Arts and she could not be happier.


“I am really excited to be back and working with the students again. The energy is unmatched with high school students,” she said. “They are so intuitive when we talk about characters and their roles in the show. They come up with insightful observations about their characters and their relationships. They are very intuitive.”

Theater fans will have three opportunities to see the legal drama Nov. 16-18, at Ireton’s Garwood Whaley Auditorium. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017