As kids all over America head back to school, Broadway.com decided to ask our favorite Broadway stars to look back at their own years in the classroom—and share a school picture! Andrew Durand, who went from “quiet loner” to the star of Broadway’s War Horse, recalls two teachers who truly inspired him, firing off rockets and the time he pooped himself at school.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
I have to mention two teachers here. One would be my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Fredericks. She provided with my first-ever acting experience. She "cast" me in the title role of Squanto for our in classroom Thanksgiving play. I don't know why she did. I was a quiet, loner type in those days of my life, so I wouldn't think I'd've stood out as one to choose for the lead of the play. She must've seen something in me though, and I'm eternally grateful to her for it. The other I'd have to say would be my high school drama teacher, Brian Kimmel. I loved learning from him because he treated his students as equals. He created a really great environment for us all to learn in. Looking back now, it was almost as if we were a theater company rather than a high school class of kids.
What advice would you give to your school-age self?
Read more. I hardly read any books growing up, and I wish I had. And don't just give all your energy to theater, learn a few other things.
What’s your favorite back to school item?
Composition books! Even though I never really used them…I don't write many things down… But the thought of using them was great, haha. I also always enjoyed a little back to school clothes shopping. It's actually one of the few times in my life I remember enjoying shopping for clothes.
What class did you dread and why?
MATH!!! I hate math. Really just because I'm so terrible at it.
What is your most embarrassing school moment?
Probably when I pooped my pants in preschool. I totally still remember that.
In which extracurricular activities did you participate?
Shows, shows, shows. I did so many school shows, as well as community theater shows. Sometimes I'd visit the science club and shoot off a few rockets.