The drama director who clashed with the district last year after his planned production of the musical Rent was prohibited by the superintendent will resign his position as the head of the drama department at the end of the year, he announced Monday night.
Marc Segal, who has taught drama at MHS for more than 23 years, will stay on as a full time English teacher at the school. He said his decision to step down was partly due to the .
"My philosophies really don't match the district's anymore," Segal said in an interview Monday. "[My resignation] is not because of what happened last year, but that certainly contributed to it."
Segal voiced his displeasure last January when he was told he could not stage Rent because district officials determined that some students . Segal said at the time that he was contemplating resigning then, but then when the district agreed to change the protocol for reviewing future decisions.
Segal said he felt he was not able to challenge himself or his students anymore with the productions he's been limited to lately. Instead of Rent, Segal wound up staging , an adaptation of The Princess and the Pea.
"It's all fairy tales and Charlie Brown," Segal said, adding: "It's just not what I want to be doing."
Superintendent Linda Wagner declined to comment on Segal's concerns specifically in an email about his resignation.
"Mr. Segal has provided drama students many years of exciting on-stage experiences," she wrote. "We appreciate his many years of service to Monrovia High School, and particularly to those students who have participated in the dramatic arts."
More than 60 Productions
After putting on more than 60 productions over the course of his career at MHS, the 52-year-old Segal said his age also played a role in his decision to step down from the department.
"There's really not much further I can take the program," he said, adding that he hoped auditorium director J. Phillips would take over the drama department.
State budget cuts have also significantly depleted the department's resources needed to put on productions, Segal said.
Current and past students bade Segal farewell on his Facebook page Monday, where he first announced his resignation. The post drew 35 comments as of 10 p.m. Monday.
"It makes me really sad that so many students won't have such an awesomely fantastic drama teacher like you," wrote former student Holly Solis. "I feel very fortunate to have acted under your direction. I owe a lot to you, your class, and the plays."
Segal's final act will be a performace of The Robber Bridegroom on May 2 through May 5. The final installment of his "Siggy Awards" for the department will be on May 29.
"Hope you can all make both events and thank you for all of your love and support," Segal wrote.