Mr. Ambs’ history in theatre shapes Del Val legacy


Rick Epstein

English/Theater teacher, Mr. Clint Ambs, is also the host of the Teacher Talent Show.

Julia Burchill, The Delphi Staff

With an accomplished past in the realms of both English and Theatre Arts, Mr. Clinton Ambs continues to inspire his students through his passion.

Ambs believes that people are shaped by the interactions and experiences they have had, as well as the legacies they intend to leave behind.

Ambs’ musical theatre career began as early as middle school, where he was sought out by a teacher to audition for a role in the school play.

“It took one teacher [to say] ‘Let me show you this thing that you probably didn’t know about,’” Ambs said.

After a successful audition, Ambs was given the role in the production. He claims that his passion for musical theatre took off from there, and he continued to cultivate his acting skills in college.

While attending Rowan University as an undergraduate, Ambs met Paul Turner, a choreographer instructing at the school.

When playing a role in a school production, Ambs would look to Turner for expertise and feedback.

Ambs recalls that one of the exercises most beneficial to him was one resembling tag, where Ambs would be tagged out by Turner when rehearsing a role to see how Turner would portray the character. Each time he was tagged back in, Ambs was given more material to play with and would take the role one step further.

“The characters we play are not individual to us,” Ambs said. “We don’t own them. We borrow them.”

Ambs believes that Turner was the reason behind “one of the most formative experiences” in his life, having learned how to collaboratively develop a character, perfect the character and it’s background, and eventually portray the character to its fullest extent.

He took these techniques with him to Montclair State University, where he later earned his Masters in Theatre.

Ambs’ ability to bring a character to life in his own way allowed for growth within himself and his other abilities.

After instructing at Delaware Valley Regional High School for only a year, Ambs requested to be the teacher for the Performing Arts class, and he was able to pass on his ideologies concerning acting and how one should perform to his students.

Once granted the position of director for the school musical, Ambs believed that he had found where he was supposed to be in the Del Val community. He claims that the growth of the theatre program at Del Val is the most fulfilling aspect of the job.

“You go around the state and you say ‘Del Val,’ people are no longer just [saying] ‘Oh yeah, aren’t you that wrestling school?’ I think people are going, ‘Oh, you guys have a great theatre program.’ That, in my opinion, is a huge accomplishment.”