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! Rebecca Faulkenberry, who plays the title hero's true love Mary Jane in Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark, recalls being a driven drama student who needed help in the fashion department.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Probably Tracy Ginder-Delventhal, who was my drama teacher at Choate Rosemary Hall, where I went to boarding school. She had the perfect combination of kookiness and an incredible wealth of knowledge that makes an exciting teacher.
What advice would you give to your school-age self?
I would say not to worry much what other people think of you. And hang out with people who like you and are nice to you, which is not necessarily the popular kids.
In school, you would have been named “most likely to…”
This sounds completely cliche, but I was probably most likely to succeed, purely for the reason that I was so obsessive about being in shows and performance classes—not because we knew I had talent.
What song sums up your school experience and why?
I can't think of a song that sums up my schooling, but whenever I hear “No Scrubs” by TLC or “The Boy Is Mine" by Monica and Brandy, it takes me right back to high school! Remember, I grew up in Bermuda, so rock/pop music didn't enter my music vocabulary until around 17. It was all reggae and hip hop til then—and the odd show tune:-)
What’s your favorite back to school item?
I loved buying new notebooks and colorful pens for school. And I always wanted the notebook with the folder on the inside cover so you could just fold notes into it without a hole punch. It’s the small things.
What class did you dread and why?
I was always terrible at physics. I'm not sure why; biology was great, chemistry was OK, but physics was about two extra help sessions a week, and I still got a C.
What is your most embarrassing school moment?
I went to an all girls’ school, so I think I was spared most teenage girl embarrassing moments. I do remember my first school dance (which other schools were invited to so it was coed), my mum bought me an outfit. A very nice thought, but it was Levis straight leg jeans, a long sleeved plaid shirt that buttoned to the neck with no collar, and I wore my one-inch-heel penny loafers. That was embarrassing. So I made up for it with a miniskirt at my next dance, although that didn't turn out to be my best idea either.
In which extracurricular activities did you participate?
I did exactly what you’d expect: all the community theater shows, dance class, voice lessons, cello lessons. I was on the swim team for two or three years, but eventually I had too many performance classes to keep up with that.
Describe your school-age self in three words.
Insecure, ambitious, people-pleaser.