Next On Stage: Dr. Tregar


Kristen Tregar

Dr. Tregar has been teaching for 15 years and loves being inside the classroom. Aside from teaching, she enjoys hanging out with her animals and cooking.

Melanie Yau, Staff Writer

In an office in the back left corner of the theater lobby, hidden deep inside Scripps, is the office of the new theater teacher, Dr. Tregar. She loves teaching, and worked as a science teacher in New York before coming to Bishop’s to teach theater. Aside from her school life, she loves hanging out with her pets, cooking, and working as a director and playwright for theater productions. Although it has only been a few weeks, Dr. Tregar loves the community at Bishop’s and is excited for the upcoming year. 

If you had to choose another job besides teaching, what would it be?

That’s a tough one! I’ve had a lot of different jobs- I was a zookeeper and got to train sea lions, I worked in animal hospitals for a while, and I got some experience with forensics while interning with my local sheriff’s department. If I had to choose something besides teaching, I might try to find work with animals – maybe as a trainer (although that’s a lot like teaching, so I’m not sure if that counts!). If not that, then I’d probably try to focus my attention more on professional theatrical work. I really love dramaturgy, so I might look for work as a literary manager or dramaturg, or I could keep going with playwriting.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I really love spending time with my animals – I have three horses so I love going to the barn to see them. I foxhunt with them (it’s really more like “coyote chasing” – no animals are injured) and I compete in eventing. I also have two dogs at home and they are great company too. I also really like food and cooking, and have a particular appreciation for cheese (I’ve actually spent a lot of time studying cheese and earned a certificate of expertise!). 

What’s your favorite part about teaching? 

I am personally someone who loves to learn and who is always looking to learn more. I really enjoy sharing knowledge with students, seeing them make new discoveries, and I also really appreciate that by that exchange of knowledge, I inevitably learn more about a subject that I knew before. We can only ever learn something new once – after that, it’s something we’ve seen before – and sometimes there are really powerful insights that take place in that moment of first encounter. By being able to share those firsts, I always learn something new myself, and I appreciate that opportunity.

What made you want to become a teacher, specifically for theater?

I first started teaching when I was in graduate school (the first time!), when we were invited to teach lab courses for the undergrads. I found that I really loved being in the classroom and seeing students make new discoveries. When I had the chance to start teaching lectures as well as labs, I took that opportunity too, and that was really when it all started. At that time, though, I was teaching in the sciences (an overview of science and a forensic science class) so when I graduated, I looked for a science teaching position and found one at an independent school in New York. I was there for seven years and in addition to our classroom teaching, we were all asked to do something else- supervise a study hall, coach a team, etc. I thought back to when I was in high school myself and what I liked doing and remembered that I’d been the president of my school’s Drama Club, so I asked about helping with the theater productions. That year, I started by directing a couple of short scenes in our Fall Play and from then on, I was working on 1-2 productions every quarter! After a couple of years, I was encouraged to go to school for theater, so I applied to graduate programs, got accepted, learned more, and really started to transition from teaching science to teaching theater. It’s a pretty winding path, but I think it demonstrates that if you stay open to new opportunities, you can find your way to doing what you’re meant to do.

 Have you been in any theater productions? If so, which ones?

I have! Most recently, I was onstage for a show that was performed during a Star Trek cruise, where I got to share the stage with some really amazing actors including John deLancie, George Takei, Nana Visitor, John Billingsley, Connor Trineer, and Robert Picardo. I also played the Green Girl in a production of the musical Shout! with my local community theater a few years ago. In all honesty, though, I’m much happier behind the scenes working as a director, dramaturg, and playwright than I am performing as an actor.

 What made you decide to come to Bishops?

I think it was a confluence of things- I really believe that sometimes the universe has a way of putting you in the right place at the right time. I had finished my doctoral degree and was looking for a teaching position when the theater job at Bishop’s became available. When I did some research on the school, I saw that there were a lot of things that seemed to really resonate for me. It’s such a caring community of scholars – everyone here seems to share my love of learning! – and I really appreciate how the school really tries to live its values. Bishop’s philosophies about education also really parallel my own, particularly the interest in creating a safe and welcoming space where students can try new things and explore, even when those experiments don’t necessarily go as well as we might like. It feels like a place where I could learn and grow too, and I really love that!

Dr. Tregar has so many talents and hobbies. From foxhunting with her horses, to directing a play, to teaching her students, to even having a certificate of expertise for cheese, she is someone you definitely want to have a conversation with. Bishop’s is lucky to have her, and feel free to drop by her office and say hi!