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Local teacher in movies

Submitted by ts on Wed, 10/07/2009 - 1:57pm

Dane Allred, Payson High School drama teacher, has been a detective, Buffalo Bill, a drunken abusive father, the target of an assassination, a mentally-ill man, a suicidal veteran, an ancient actor, the church-lady and a homicidal juvenile delinquent. This time Allred is playing a police officer trying to help find a lost child.

In the movie "White on Rice", Dane Allred plays a police officer again. As the drama teacher at Payson High School for the last 20 years, Allred finds time in his busy schedule to act in stage plays and films. "My favorite part in this movie is where I get to say "friggin", says Allred. "It's a funny word, and the audience always chuckles. When we went to see the
premiere in San Jose, my wife even laughed. After being married 32 years, I know when she laughs at my jokes they are really funny." Debbie Allred has also taught in the Nebo School District for more than two decades, currently teaching dance and English at Springville High School.

"White on Rice" is Allred's second film with director David Boyle. Boyle played the main character and directed "Big Dreams, Little Tokyo" with Allred appearing as Boyle's father. "I was mainly in the movie to supply him with money."

"I have a Cyprus Credit Union commercial running on local television stations right now," said Allred, "and the strange thing is both "White on Rice" and the credit union commercial were shot two years ago. I've done more than 50 movies or commercials right here in Utah and even got to travel to Reno to do a commercial there." Allred believes the number of films and commercials shot in Utah has to do with the quality of film crews who live
in the state. "We really have some of the most talented film directors, crews and production companies right here in Utah. It gives me and other actors some really great opportunities."

Utah, being a film destination, also brings many famous actors to the state. "I've acted with Reese Witherspoon, Suzanne Somers, Henry Winkler, Ricky Schroeder, Valerie Bertinelli, Jacklyn Smith, Michael Flynn, and Natalie Canerday (the mom from October Sky )," said Allred. "I've even had Sally Field swear at me for deprecating my acting."

Dane has also appeared in 70 stage plays or musicals, most recently playing both the butler and the baker in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", which played at the Scera Shell and for BYU's feature presentation for Education Week. "I did the same thing last summer," said Allred, "playing Mr. Bennett in an original musical production of 'Pride and
Prejudice'. They even let me sing on the original cast album."

While at Payson High School, Allred has taught drama and debate, but he has also taught world history, political science, humanities, film history and technical theatre classes. He also teaches public speaking at Brigham Young University, a job he has held for the past 15 years. "I helped write the book we use for public speaking classes at BYU, and I was asked to create
the high school version BYU offers online," said Allred. "I was doubtful about teaching public speaking online, until I looked online and saw there were dozens of courses like that already available. With the availability of cell phone cameras and video recorders, students can record the speeches in front of audience members and then submit it to me to grade over the

"As a drama teacher, I get to work with some amazing students," said Allred. "We've won 4A division titles at college invitationals and been to National Debate and Speech Tournaments, but I really like the fact I regularly have resource and UCBT students in my classes. One of my best memories is including an autistic student in our competition play."

Allred also hosts a weekly radio program on KTKK AM 630 every Sunday from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Each week he discusses how to be our best selves by examining one topic from his list of 1001Thanks, a list Allred compiled of the 1001 things for which he is thankful. The program can also be heard online at or as a podcast at Recent programs topics have included civility, adventure, loss, winning, loyalty and improvement.

Allred also performs two one-man shows; "A Christmas Carol", his adaptation of the show originally performed by Charles Dickens. "Mark Twain and the Mormons" is another show adapted from the writings of Mark Twain when he visited Utah. "I liked how Samuel Clemens has such interesting observations when he came through Utah," said Allred. "He's a really fun character to play."

"My Best Self" is the title of his motivational presentation which promotes the following principles:

  • Making a difference
  • Yearning to be better
  • Believing in ourselves
  • Entertaining new ideas
  • Strives for perfection
  • Trusting in the creative
  • Succeeding and celebrating success
  • Expecting great things to happen
  • Learning from everyone
  • Fearlessly forging forcefully forward.

The first letter of each idea forms the acronym "My Best Self". He loves to garden and has won many awards at the Springville Flower show. He also likes to sell some of the plants from his garden on eBay. He has over 3000 positive ratings as a seller on eBay, and often finds props online for his shows.

"I've run three St. George marathons, and hope to run again next year," said Allred. "I really like to challenge myself to try new things. A few years ago, I learned how to windsurf and ended up stuck on Utah Lake until 2 a.m. in the morning. The bad news is I had to show up on 3 hours of sleep to give standardized tests the next day."