Elm Tree Press: Theatre at LA

by Mike Templeton ’19



  • Who is this strange man (a.k.a. Joel Sugerman)?
  • Why is he running across campus with those weird glasses; spectacles that rest perfectly on his nose?



Well, Mr. Sugerman may be eccentric (to say the least). But he is at the helm of Lawrence Academy’s spectacular Theatre Department where the opportunities offered to you are incredible, and you must get involved.

However, it all starts by walking into the Theatre Classroom where all the magic is made…

Besides being a homage to the great Charlie Chaplin (and also decorated with posters that make you think deeply), this is where we — the students — create.

In the fall, the play comes together; in the winter, the musical. In the spring, well, that’s when “One Acts” are in full swing.


To give you some insight on my experience, freshman year I had the time of my life playing “Audrey II” in Little Shop of Horrors; a very opinionated disciple in Godspell the next year; the “Squeegee Man” in Rent, and two hilarious roles in two years of “One Acts.”

In short, my experience at LA would have been very different if I didn’t involve myself in the Theater Department!

But it’s entirely up to you to take that first step.

So, even if you have never been in a play or performed a scene publically in your life —


Check out Mike’s “theatre reel,” used in his college applications…

Elm Tree Post: LA’s Advisory System

Three Reasons Why I Love Advisory

by Steph Clark ’20


The advisory system at Lawrence Academy is a unique program that allows students and faculty to connect. When entering LA as a new student, each student is placed into an advisory group. An advisory group consists of a teacher and five to eight students. Each advisory is a mix of grades, genders, and day or boarding status. We meet with our advisors Tuesday through Thursday for 15 minutes each morning.

Reason #1 – Your advisor is not just an advisor on campus.


Each adult that is an advisor at LA is much more than just an “advisor figure.” After advisory ends each morning, you continue to see your advisor throughout the day. For example, your advisor could also be your coach, teacher, or college counselor.

The continuous interactions with your advisor allow you to bond beyond surface level, as your advisor gets to see the whole you.

I feel so lucky to have the unique opportunity to see my advisor in class or even sit with her family at dinner. Getting to know your advisor also means getting to know them as a coach, parent, and mentor.

Reason #2 – The mix of people you meet.


The diverse group of students that you meet in advisory pushes you to meet students with different interests and backgrounds. In my advisory, we have two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman. We have students interested in basketball, soccer, painting, English and so much more.

Although all of us are very different, the time we share every morning allows us to bond and learn about one another.

We even have a group text, so we can communicate outside of the advisory setting. It is so nice to have eight more friendly faces on campus who I can smile at in the hallways, walk across the quad with, and eat with in the dining hall. As students graduate every year, the advisory groups continue to change and develop, but the connection you make lasts forever.

Reason #3 – Advisory is a safe space.


Advisory is a place where I always feel safe and comfortable. We are so fortunate at LA to be in a community where we can share any issues that we are having and find a solution. When we walk into advisory each morning, we share laughs, questions, and even the occasional cry. Every advisor makes themselves available to students by text or email, which allows your advisor to be involved in your daily life beyond the 15 minutes that we share each morning. Not only can you share things with your advisor, but you can also lean on the other students in your advisory.

Each group truly bonds into a family and always makes sure that everyone has what they need to succeed.

The friends I have made through the advisory program at Lawrence Academy are people that I know will always have my back.