A Tribute to Retiring San Marcos Theater Teacher Mr Holmes


Staff writer


Beloved San Marcos theatre teacher Mr. David Holmes is going into a well earned retirement after 30 wonderful years of teaching. Mr. Holmes has produced over 60 productions at San Marcos.

Mr. Holmes annually produces one full length drama and An Evening of One Acts, each featuring his advanced acting class. Mr. Holmes also teams up with the vocal and instrumental department once a year to produce the spring musical. “For the spring musical I get to work with a team to put together the show, so the difficulty of the musical is spread amongst many teachers, so I enjoy working with others on the musical, which I don’t do for the fall play.”

Mr. Holmes has been partnering with Mrs. Carolyn Teraoka-Brady, head of the vocal department, for 15 years to produce many memorable spring musicals. “I’m really excited for him, he deserves to do whatever he wants to do now, because it is a lot of work to be in theater,” said Ms. Teraoka-Brady. “I’m going to miss him an awful lot, but I’m very excited for him and I think he is going to have a great time.”

Mr. Holmes and Mrs. TB have produced many amazing plays together, including a production of Anything Goes (2002) that was selected as 1 of 30 high schools to go to the world largest theater festival, the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland. “The Fringe Festival was such an honour to be selected, and we took a cast of 60 students. Being Selected by the American High School Theater Group to represent America is probably the single most exciting thing that I’ve done with High School Theater.”

In his last year of teaching Mr. Holmes has taken on a student teacher, Ms. Riley Barris, and is teaching her everything there is to know about the San Marcos theater department. “This is my first time working closely with theater at a high school, other than when I was in high school. I’ve been doing theater professionally and in college since 2006,” said student teacher Ms. Barris. “I was the artistic director of a theater company in Los Angeles, for three years, and acting, producing, and directing. I also did a lot more acting and crew work in college.” Overall, Ms. Barris has had a wonderful experience working with Mr. Holmes and finds him “brilliant, unbelievably intuitive, and so creative with the art he produces with high school students.” Ms. Barris hopes to be involved with the theater department in the future and has applied for his job. “He has inspired me, and continues to do so everyday.”

Mr. Holmes has been in love with the theater ever since he was in the seventh grade. He knew that if he could earn a living in the theater that was what he wanted to do. With teachers in his family, he was encouraged to go into education. “My real passion was getting into education, and working with students in theater. My high school theater experience really did not prepare me for the real world.” As a teacher now, it is Mr. Holmes’ goal to give his student actors and technicians an advantage when they leave high school. “I think our students end up knowing more about how to produce theater than most students in High School.”

Mr. Holmes has spent 30 years building what is now the San Marcos theater department. Our theatre department is held in very high esteem due to great material our students are able to produce. “I was really nervous about who would be replacing me, a retiring teacher is not allowed to select his replacement. If it was someone I did not know, how would I know they would be the right choice for the job?” Top two candidates for Mr. Holmes position were both excellent directors, and had Mr. Holmes feeling excited for the new direction of the San Marcos Theater Department. Although not publicly announced, a new director has been found, and Mr. Holmes is happy to say, “I’m excited for San Marcos High School, and for the theater program under her direction. She is very good at what she does, I think she will be a really good fit.” Mr. Holmes is excited to go into retirement and will be leaving with his head held high, and proud of his work.

In retirement I hope to do some acting. After doing August Osage County 2 years ago, I discovered that I could still produce onstage,” Said Mr. Holmes. “I want to be able to do some writing as well. I’ve been writing a number of short stories, most of them about my life as a young man growing up in Napa Valley. So I’d like to finish that project.” Mr. Holmes also enjoys restoring old cars, fishing, and traveling. “I want to travel the country and explore the regional theaters from coast to coast. There are so many famous theaters that I have never gone to that I would love to see.”

While all of his students are sure to miss him, we wish him the very best in his retirement, and will welcome the new theater teacher with as much admiration and respect that we have given Mr. Holmes


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