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The Pipeline

The Amazing John William Klak


Mr Klak has done a lot throughout his career from teaching English, directing plays and musicals, running the thespian trips, having a play production class, and managing all the events that happen in the auditorium. Klak is just amazing. Working full days and throughout the night to work on what he is passionate about, theater. Klak has done an amazing total of 117 musicals and plays here at Mount Pleasant High School. This musical was his final, he will be retiring this year. He has accomplished many goals, while also setting more to accomplish. Everytime he picks a show to do, he thinks about what both him and his students’ goals and challenges are. He always wants to push the boundaries of what new thing they can accomplish this year. He’s done a wide variety of things here in the Mount Pleasant High School Theatre Department. He wrote his own play, “12 nights at the regency”, he conquered many challenges on stage like making it rain, and so much more. “Theatre is my life” He says, which is entirely true. He says “it has become my identity.” He had theater experience outside of Mt Pleasant High School too! He directed at Broadway, he did one year of directing at Farwell High School, he has 29 years here though, he used to own a dance studio where he would teach drama classes (not dance classes). He also acted in Broadway, he did Escanaba in The Moonlight playing the lead role of Ruben the Buckless Wonder, he was in to kill a mockingbird, and he has filled in a couple shows. Like for example, once upon a mattress he filled in for the king because the original king had a medical issue. This role was a challenge for Klak because he jumped in at the very last minute, he had a lot of fun performing on stage with his son though. 

Klak’s theater years started in his junior year of high school. He was a band geek, king of the band gees even and had a lot on his plate because of band and tennis. He was already doing a lot and a lot of his friends were going out for the musical going on at his high school and he thought to himself, I’d really like to try that. His friends and family denied him at first because he was too busy, he basically pouted his way and guilt tripped his parents into auditioning. His first ever role was a small role, but he was proud of it because he got a death scene and a life scene. He immediately caught the drama bug and he was full on into theater. Camelot was his first ever production he was in, and then he was in everything. He went full force at it. Then he went to CMU, he wasn’t getting a bunch of lead roles but he was dedicated and wanted to do this. Klak got into tech, and worked at the theater in his free time. Doing 21 productions in 4 years at CMU. Some he was on stage, he did everything at CMU except for costuming or assistant stage manager. He knew he wanted to teach, that’s a huge reason why he did everything because he knew he was going to have to do everything which was true. He also wanted to teach students how to do everything, and that was his life. He did two years of teaching in Huston, where he met his wife and they engaged after 2 months. When she met him Klak wasn’t doing theater yet but she knew he was passionate about it. “She didn’t know what she was getting herself into,” He says.

Klak has advice for future students and the next director. Starting with the director he says, “The job is a lot of work, but don’t  let it take over your life. I mean really, don’t try to do everything like I do. I do everything.” Klak teaches full time, they direct and design the shows, 7 days a week he works, he works all day for a minimum of 11 hours. I get here at about 6:30 and I am here till 7 o’clock.” During tech week Klak goes all out, here at 6:30 and he is there until midnight sometimes. Klak worked hard, and did so much for us with 4-5 hours of sleep a night. It’s honestly so bizarre how Mount Pleasant High School was absolutely blessed to have a man like John William Klak do all of this for them. Klak tells the future director, “Get people involved.” It genuinely is a lot of work to do everything. For the students he says, “There is nothing the high school students can’t do. Literally nothing, if they want to do it performance wise, tech wise, they can do it. The only limitations are resources, the three resources are people, money, and time. If you don’t have enough of any one of those things that can stop you, but besides that there is nothing high school students can’t do.” Klak has seen so many productions in his life of being involved with theater, from college theater and semi-professional productions but ours are better. Comparing our productions to professional productions he has seen he says, “Our production of Spongebob is better than their production of Spongebob, our production of Little Mermaid is better than their production of Little Mermaid, our Flaming Idiots was much better.” Given that there’s nothing high school students can do, Klak says, “Don’t hold back. Take chances, and be brave and go for it. Whatever it is, that’s my advice. You’re always auditioning for your next role.”

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About the Contributors
Izzy Hicks
Izzy Hicks, Staff Reporter
Izzy Hicks is a freshman and staff reporter for the Pipeline. She has been in publications for 2 trimesters now because she is so passionate about writing. She enjoys working on stories together with her friends, Mae, Max, and Maddox. In her free time, she is usually with someone whose name starts with the letter M.
Max Voss
Max Voss, Staff Reporter
Max Voss is a freshman who is super awesome. He was drawn to the Pipeline because he had heard of the excellent community in Mrs. Sedlar's Publications class.
Maddox Aldrich
Maddox Aldrich, Staff Reporter
Maddox Aldrich is a freshman. He was drawn to the Pipeline due to his interest with photography and his affiliation with publications at the middle school. He is mostly interested in taking pictures and working on passion projects. When Maddox isn't taking pictures or researching he is usually hanging out with friends and playing with his cats.
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