The drama department at E.C. Glass High School is known for producing talent. They have a "wall of fame" to prove it.
Pictures of successful grads are posted in the hallway outside the drama department. One of the featured alumni is Abby Baum, a 2003 graduate who studied drama at New York University and went on to tour with different stage productions.
"I got to work with a lot of my idols and now I'm very excited to be back," Baum said Tuesday.
She's back in her old classroom, but not as a student. This time she's the one giving directions.
"We're really concentrating on sinking our teeth into how it is that humans are interacting with each other," said Baum, who is part of a new "visiting artists series." Drama teachers are bringing back professional alumni to play the role of mentor for aspiring actors.
"Having a fresh face in the directing chair is always great, because they get to see different techniques and different ways of going about (acting)," said drama teacher, J.D. Stallings.
Baum is the guest director for "The Children's Hour," a classic play that explores deep topics.
"The way she tells us and talks to us about her ideas for the show is very clear and very nice," said Emma Dahlin, a sophomore drama student at E.C. Glass.
Baum is sharing her own perspective and showing students what it means to be a theater professional.
"Something we always try to push with our students is the fact that, yes theater is a fun extra-curricular activity in high school, but if they really have a passion for it there are plenty of opportunities," said Stallings.
Of all the opportunities she's been given, Baum says mentoring is one of the most rewarding she's ever had.
"Nobody does anything alone, so being able to recall the ways in which I was helped as a student and young adult is really valuable work to me," said Baum.
Baum is working on her master's degree at the University of Virginia. She hopes to one day teach English at the high school level.
E.C. Glass theater hopes to bring in other mentors, just like Baum, at least once a year. In addition to Baum, the school's alumni roster includes current TV stars Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls) and Connie Britton (Nashville).