Bangs High School's new theatre director: 'I'm back home'

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Members of the Lion King Jr. cast rehearse a scene Monday night in the Bangs High School auditorium.

BANGS -- Callie Hodges hopes the actor playing Baby Simba doesn't cry in the Bangs High School theatre department's upcoming performances of "Lion King Jr."

But if he does cry, that's understandable: Baby Simba is being portrayed by Hodges' 6-month-old son.

Hodges is in her first year as Bangs High School's theatre director. Her predecessor, Billie Harvey, has become the school's assistant principal.

"It’s the same story as the Disney movie with young Simba, and he loses his father and he runs away," Hodges said of the play. "It’s about him finding himself and he comes back to take over the Pride Lands."

Performance times in the Bangs High School auditorium are:

* Thursday, Nov. 11 -- 7 p.m.

* Saturday, Nov. 13 -- 7 p.m.

* Sunday, Nov. 14 -- 2 p.m.

Hodges, a 2013 graduate of Brownwood High School, was a theatre student under then-Brownwood theatre director Larry Mathis. Hodges didn't perform onstage but worked in the technical and lighting aspects of the stage.

Mathis became one of her favorite people. "He  was just so loving and caring and created this home for so many people, that I decided that’s what I wanted to do," Hodges said.

She attended Angelo State University as a theatre major and had her first onstage role as a college junior. In 2017, Hodges came to Bangs to student-teach theatre under Harvey.

After graduating from college, Hodges taught theatre in Breckenridge for three years was the tech director in Birdville for a year. After learning she was having a baby, Hodges and her husband opted to move back to Brown County.

“It’s been great," Hodges said of her job at Bangs High School. "I love it here. What makes this more special is I'm back at home, so there are kids I'm teaching that I know their siblings. Or their parents know my mom. So it's been nice to be back at home.

"Even though Billie (Harvey) and I aren't working in the same capacity, it's nice to still have her here and to work under her as an administrator."