Pillars of BSA is a mini-series featuring profiles of the leaders who will be leaving BSA this year.
Donald Hicken. Theater Department Head. Mentor. Father to us all. Beloved Friend. Someone who is always willing to share and cooperate. Reliable and smart. Tells the best stories I know (yes, I remember the Saga freshmen year, I still have those notes somewhere.)
Ifetayo: How long have you been with BSA?
Donald Hicken: I have been at BSA for 37 years.
Ifetayo: Why did you first come here?
Hicken:I was Director of Training at Center Stage and Associate Director of the Young People’s Theatre (Center Stage’s outreach performance company in Maryland schools). When the school was being created I was interviewed at Center Stage by a committee set up to determine the physical plant needs for arts education programs. I was then asked to consider being the Department Head of Theatre.
Ifetayo: Do you remember what your first day was like?
Hicken: There were so many “first days” back then: first day on the job, first day meeting with prospective teachers, first day touring the building (which was still being renovated when I was hired), first day auditioning students (we held the auditions at Center Stage), the first day of the after-school program, and the first official day of classes in the building. We were a small school back then: only 12 students in the Theatre Dept. and I was the only teacher.
We met in what is now the Scene Shop.
Ifetayo: What’s your favorite part?
Hicken: My favorite part has always been working with these gifted students.
Ifetayo: Lastly, what’s the next chapter of your life?
Hicken: The next chapter will include more teaching and directing, but most importantly time with family and friends, reading, travel and sleep.
When Donald walks out of those front doors and down the ramp, BSA will change forever. He has played his part and has left a lasting impact on us all. I salute to you, sir. I think we all should, wait, sorry, I think we all could. (Richard says we should on ourselves too much in the Acting Department). We will miss you Donald Hicken and thank you.