New Stories

Q&A with Chryss Allaback, New Visual and Performing Arts Professor

By: Alexis Osborne

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Chryss Allaback is the newest addition to the Pitt Greensburg visual and performing art department. In addition, Allaback is the director of the fall play, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” She has worked in different schools in different states such as Oregon and has her P.H.D from the University of Oregon. Allaback has been working in theater for over 40 years, whether it’s been acting or on the sidelines. She’s done it all.

Q: Why did you pick to teach at Pitt Greensburg?

A: I was looking for a job that was closer to my family. I wanted a place where I could drive in a day to see them.

Q: Why do you teach theater?

A: I’ve been doing theater all my life. I believe theater education is important because not only are we enriching people’s lives with performing arts, we are teaching important job skills. Through theater, people learn to manage, be adaptable, work as a team, it just boosts your self esteem.

Q: What is your process for planning the fall play?

A: I held auditions, cast my actors, found a sound technician, recruited stage crew, etc. This is all nothing new because I’ve been doing this for many years now. I also appreciate that at this school, there are more people willing to help me out with these things.

Q: What are you most excited for about the fall play?

A: I’m excited to see what the students bring to their characters. This is an intense emotional play.

Q: What classes do you teach at Pitt Greensburg and what do you like most about them?

A: I teach Intro to Theater Arts Part 1 and Acting II. I love teaching theater history, engaging with my students, and running around in my classes, so they’re both enjoyable in different ways.”

Q: How is your semester going as a new professor here?

A: I will say it feels more relaxed because the timing for terms is different here than at my past schools… It feels like it’s going faster and I’m not as stressed.

Q: How have you been getting along with students and colleagues since you’re new? 

A: It’s been great here, students want to do more and are willing to participate. It’s also nice, as I mentioned, to have people to help me out and it’s easy to ask questions.

Q: What are your hopes for this academic school year?

A: I hope that students will have a good time, take what they’ve learned and apply it to jobs.

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