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Drama Alumnus Brings “SMASH: Make a Musical” to Houston

Julio MoralesJulio Morales received his first introduction to theater at Sharpstown High School before coming to UST as a drama major in 2005. Today, the 2009 alumnus said he’s excited to have returned to Sharpstown as the theater teacher and been chosen by NBC’s “SMASH: Make a Musical” program as one of 20 schools in the nation receiving funding and mentorship to build a new musical theater program.

Morales credits the education he received at UST for his ability to teach theater. He said when he came to the University, acting was his primary focus and participating in the directing classes and set building studios didn’t make sense to him.

“The non-acting classes I took at St. Thomas gave me the skills I’m using as a teacher,” Morales said. “I try to teach like my professors at St. Thomas taught me and give my students an introduction to more than just acting. The small size of the drama department at St. Thomas is wonderful because students have the opportunity to participate in everything.”

Morales teaches six classes to 130 students at Sharpstown High School, including three Beginning Theater classes, an Advanced Theater course and technical classes on stage building and directing.

With help from NBC’s community outreach program, Morales will be directing the first musical theater production at Sharpstown High School in 25 years. His theater students will perform a one-hour condensed version of the musical Fame in the spring.
Morales said his students are beyond excited.

“I’m introducing my students to musical theater by taking them to see productions in Houston,” Morales said. “We’re going to see shows with the Alley Theater, TUTS, Rice University, and I’m definitely bringing them to UST.”