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The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Steven Minning Steps Down From Role as Creative Arts Director

Minning+meets+with+his+cast+and+crew+during+a+rehearsal+of+%E2%80%9CLittle+Shop+of+Horrors.%E2%80%9D+%E2%80%9CThe+Little+Shop+of+Horrors%E2%80%9D+was+performed+at+the+end+of+October%2C+kicking+off+the+2022-2023+school+year+as+the+first+musical.+Staff+Photo%3A+Sonia+Dholakia+%0A
Minning meets with his cast and crew during a rehearsal of “Little Shop of Horrors.” “The Little Shop of Horrors” was performed at the end of October, kicking off the 2022-2023 school year as the first musical. Staff Photo: Sonia Dholakia

As of this 2023-2024 school year, Creative Arts Director of seven years Steven Minning will step down from his broader director position to focus his attention on the Menlo Drama program. Minning, who has been at Menlo for ten years and managed Menlo’s theatrical performances for the duration of that time, said that being Creative Arts Director has been a wonderful experience, but he feels ready to move in a different direction.

Menlo’s Creative Arts Director oversees the entire creative arts department for both the lower and upper schools. Minning noted that it takes quite a bit of time and effort to manage the administrative, programing, strategic vision components and more on such a large scale. He said he feels that it will be beneficial to pass the position to someone who may have a different vision for the department.

Theater holds a special place in Minning’s heart, and he loves the process of putting shows together and working with various creatives. “I come from a professional theater background, and so that’s what I did for most of my life, direct shows,” Minning said. “I love to see how everyone’s input can really make an idea come to life.” He noted that he feels his experience with the arts both within and outside of Menlo has made him a “richer person.” 

Minning hopes to put more emphasis on his specific theater program in order to focus on the student experience in his classes and productions. “I would consider it less stepping down and more stepping aside,” he said. “It’s valuable to now put the microscope a little bit more on my program and allow Menlo’s creative arts to be made even better by someone with fresh input.”

Senior Ethan Weinshel has been participating in Minning’s plays since his freshman year. In the late April production of Menlo’s “Peter and the Starcatcher,” he played the lead role of Peter Pan. Weinshel appreciates the patience and creativity that Minning has put into the plays he has been in during his time at Menlo. “I’m very involved with Menlo’s creative arts program, so as the director he has played a large role in my time here,” Weinshel said. “I really look forward to seeing what he can come up with when he’s focusing his directing solely on Menlo Drama.”

The school is considering different options for the department’s leadership going forward, and has provisionally selected Katajima Geefay as Creative Arts Department Chair, before filling the director position the following school year, according to Minning. This temporary role will allow a smoother transition into the position, as the Department Chair will be able to handle the department without the added administrative work and meetings that go with the director position. “I think it’s very important that, especially in the arts, the position stays very dynamic,” Minning said. “I know that there’s a lot more out there and there’s someone else out there that can make this even greater.”

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Alyssa McAdams
Alyssa McAdams, Print Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: Layout days, because we get to listen to music and eat snacks and talk while we work together on print

Interests outside of school: Soccer, flag football, piano, and spending time with my dog

Class of 2025

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