Student director Jack Matthews learns to seize the moment from “Our Town”

Photo by Melissa Digue, MAD Creations Studio

Hartland High School junior Jack Matthews wears many hats — from Drama Club and National Honor Society member to drum major for the Marching Eagles — but it’s his dual role as Student Director and Dr. Frank Gibbs in Hartland’s production of “Our Town” that has taught him to truly appreciate life.

“With modern technology and resources, we are able to complete many more tasks in a day than we could before,” he said. “This leads to people taking more onto their plate to fill the newfound free time. This show has really made me reflect on that, and cherish every moment I get to spend doing the things I love most.”

Playing Dr. Gibbs has given Matthews, the son of Ken and Judy Matthews, the opportunity to step outside of himself and explore life from a different perspective.

“My favorite trait that Dr. Gibbs has is definitely his sternness,” he said. “Being someone who is very bubbly and outgoing, it was a bit difficult for me to fall back into this more thoughtful character at first, but I have come to love his relaxed lifestyle and outlook on life.”

Matthews said he prepares for his roles by first reading over the script and getting a feel for the general mood of the character, and then finding a recording of someone else preforming the role to consider different interpretations.

When he is not acting or directing, Matthews enjoys participating in HHS’s Be the Change Club, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Symphony and Student Ambassadors. He also loves to study dance and has danced on pointe for about three years.

Matthews takes pride in his involvement with “Our Town” and says most elements of the show have a much deeper meaning than portrayed. “I am most proud of the progress I’ve made and the fact that I get to be a part of something so much bigger than just myself,” he says.

— Jennifer Stang

Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road in Hartland. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students/seniors, and can be purchased at or at the door.


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