Billy Houck

California Educational Theatre Association

Contact Details

California Educational Theatre Association
Silver Member


I took my first Drama class in 1971. I was a freshman in high school, and I wanted to avoid flunking Spanish. I told my counselor: "Put me anywhere. I don't care. I'll take German next year."
So there I was, in Drama 1. It didn't take long for the Drama Department to become my home. I ushered for the school production of A Man for All Seasons. When the spring musical came up, I tried out and was cast in the chorus of Flower Drum Song. (really)
So I tried out for more plays, I took more Drama classes, and soon enough, it was time to go to college- I went to Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) and followed the pattern - take all the Drama classes you can fit in your schedule, and try out for every play that came along.
In 1978 I earned a BA in Drama with a minor in English.
In 1979 I earned a California Teaching Credential that allowed me to teach both English and Drama.
I taught for 2 years in Hayward, until massive teacher layoffs forced me to find a new job.
I moved to Arroyo Grande and taught there for 29 years.
I moved to Sunnyvale and taught there until I retired in 2018.
I created a comprehensive co-curricular theatre education program, including courses in Acting, Dramatics, Theatre Productions, Performance Studies, Costume Design and History, Dramatic Literature and Shakespeare.
Over the course of four decades, I produced, designed and directed over 200 plays, including the majority of the Shakespeare Cannon. Most years we presented between 4-7 plays.
My specialties are playwriting, producing new plays, (especially student-written work) and Shakespeare. I find that the mastery of Shakespeare informs and compliments student writing.
All three of my children grew up in the theatre and participated in my program.
I joined Thespians in my Sophomore year of high school. I have had a troupe at every school I worked in. I have served on the State Board of California Thespians and am currently the Northern California Representative to the Board.  I have attended the California Thespian Festival nearly every year since the early 1980's, and have attended the International Thespian Festival at least 30 times.


Cal State Hayward
Hayward, California, United States
BA & Teaching Credential, 1978
1974 To 1979

Job History

Fremont High School
Theatre Teacher
Sunnyvale, CA, United States
August 2010 - May 2018

Arroyo Grande High School
Theatre Teacher
Arroyo Grande, CA, United States
September 1981 - June 2010

Mt Eden High School
Stagecraft Teacher
Hayward, CA, United States
September 1980 - June 1981

Sunset High School
Theatre Teacher
Hayward, CA, United States
September 1979 - June 1981