Bernard DeLeo has been writing plays and screenplays since the late ‘80s, and will be replacing former theater teacher Jason Tamborini this year.

DeLeo has had six years of teaching experience at West Springfield High School. Before coming to Marshall this year, he has been writing his own plays in the past, including Beached which has been performed in theaters all over the United States and in Canada for 30 years.

The school has afforded DeLeo more leeway in the plays that he writes and produces ever since moving to Marshall.

“I am here because I have a little more creative freedom,” DeLeo said. “West Springfield was a great school with really talented kids, but it was a little more conservative in that area and I kind of wanted to push the envelope a little bit more.”

DeLeo has written 13 screenplays, including plays, sitcoms and movies such as the sitcom Life’s Work.

“[Writing for Life’s Work] was fun, but I ultimately didn’t like Los Angeles, and [I] wanted to stay in New York City.” DeLeo said. “I did it as a way to make money, but when you write for a sitcom, the studio kind of owns you.”

DeLeo also worked as an independent film producer in California with two of his colleagues.

“[While] we were in Silicon Valley, we made three movies,” Deleo said. “One of them won the Audience Choice award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2000 which was amazing.”

DeLeo will be putting on some of his favorite self-written plays that he said will be the most fitting for the Statesmen theatre to perform, which has lead to some success in the past.

“For school I’ve written student plays before one of which made it all the way to state finals at the VHSL tournament.” Deleo said.

Sophomore and Theatre Club member Josh Gurdak said DeLeo has been very popular within his classes.

“[DeLeo] is a nice and organized guy,” Gurdak said. “He is very neat and has precise ideas about what he wants to do and knows how to execute those ideas.”

Theatre students in particular have been highly anticipating DeLeo’s production lineup for this school year.

“Marshall theatre has been consistently amazing for the last three years and I see no reason for that to change,” senior Adrian Lamb said.