Beth Gumnick

Faculty Information

Location(s)
Upper School
Department(s)
Fine Arts
Title(s)
Fine Arts Department Chair, Fine Arts Instructor

Contact Information

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
536

Education

Degree(s)
BA, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 1993

Other Information

Intro
"The arts shape our history and our society almost as much as history and society shape the arts."
Biography

Drama teacher and chair of the Baylor fine arts department, Beth first found herself on stage during her elementary years in Houston, where she attended a magnet school that put on such musicals as Annie and Oliver. Later, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, she was involved in community theater and was president of her high school's drama club. A theater and speech major at UTC, Beth was the first student in the UTC Theater Department to direct a mainstage production. She also represented UTC in exchanges with two universities in Czechoslovakia, a country whose drama students helped instigate the revolt against Communism and whose president is a playwright.

Beth has strong views about the importance of the arts in this country as well: "The arts shape our history and our society almost as much as history and society shape the arts." She believes that schools must make the arts "a part of every student's life, every day, if possible." Beth is particularly happy to be teaching in a school where the arts are taken seriously.

As a drama teacher, Beth has students play lots of improvisational theater games to help them learn to relax and concentrate, work with a partner, take creative risks, and communicate with their bodies and their voices. She also provides insight into how sets are designed, how to write a play, what characters want – she says that her students are "learning things I didn't learn until college." The students work hard and develop friendships, and Beth notes that "audiences are constantly amazed at what Baylor students can do."

Beth has worked in community and professional theater, and she continues her involvement with community theater. She also enjoys painting stained glass and singing.

Appointed 1995