The Wonderful World of Mirabal

How Mr. Mirabal has led over three decades of Theatre Productions

The Wonderful World of Mirabal

    For 33 years, Mr. Mirabal has led Lake Braddock’s theater production here at Lake Braddock. Throughout this time, he has run hit productions from Into the Woods to Ragtime, to the most recent production of Dracula.

     Through all his years of teaching, Mr. Mirabal has worked to build a community in theater where students can learn new things while recognizing their talents. “What we do that other schools don’t is allow students to do it all.” “I have actors who are great designer’s and I have great designer’s who act,” said Mirabal. This open minded approach to theater has shaped the Lake Braddock theater program and allowed students to diversify their talents and improve in new areas. Unlike College or professional theaters where you stick to what you’re good at, Mr. Mirabal’s productions are inclusive and push everybody to try everything. Mirabal exclaims, “We’re way more of a family, because I refuse to let them just be techies, or just be actor’s.”

     9th grader Sofia Terpak played the understudy to Cinderella in Mr. Mirabal’s production of “Into the Woods”. She had quite the experience saying, “It was definitely a commitment, there are expectations in place, there are lots of hours that go into making a production, it was hard at times, but definitely fulfilling.” Sofia is one of the many students that Mr. Mirabal took under his wing in his 33 years of running high school productions. “I see people in their freshman year and I’m like you’re gonna be amazing, I wish I could work with you.” said Mirabal.

     This attitude has been the foundation of all of his productions. However, it has not always been this smooth sailing. Covid had a big impact on the theater department forcing Mr. Mirabal to take a massive step back. To sum up these struggles Mirabal exclaimed, “Covid was a trip and students lost a lot of training and institutional knowledge because typically the seniors taught the freshman, so when we had covid there was a brick wall in that scenario.” 

     While a global pandemic was the last thing he expected heading into the turn of the decade, the theater department was able to bounce back. Through his hardwork and the help of his students he worked to build the department back up and stronger than ever. “I’m glad I had these three years to build up, I think the department is where it was before we left, and I’m happy to turn it over,” said Mirabal.

     While the product of Mr. Mirabal’s productions are seen by hundreds, there is a lot of work that goes into setting up these shows. While preparing these massive productions might seem like chaos, Mirabal has lots of experience in controlling the circus. There is a method to the Mirabal madness and he has years of practice in perfecting this art. Sofia says, “We usually have a meeting at the beginning of every rehearsal, and he just tries to get you into the headspace that we’re supposed to work now and to do what you’re supposed to do,”

     From being a dad, to teaching classes, to running productions, there is so much Mr. Mirabal has created over the years, “I’m gonna miss it,” says Mirabal. Through Mirabal’s work, countless students have flourished and have gotten a chance to get that special moment up on stage that happens once and if you’re lucky twice in a lifetime. Talking about her special moment, Sofia says, “My favorite part had to be on stage and especially at the end when everybody is clapping for you and it’s so much adrenaline and so much happiness that it makes all the time that you spent worth it.”